Hearing Postponed at Request of Defense Teams

The hearing in the joint trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé before the International Criminal Court (ICC) was postponed until November 12 at the request of the two defense teams.

Today, Presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser postponed hearings in the joint trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The defense teams of Gbagbo and Blé Goudé asked for a period of time to better prepare their response to the arguments put forward over the course of three days by the Office of the Prosecutor and the Legal Representative of Victims.

According to Blé Goudé’s counsel, this delay was necessary in view of the volume of the prosecution’s response to the request for dismissal, which was being debated. He requested 60 days to prepare.

“We are confronted with the prosecution’s response of more than 1,100 pages and 6001 footnotes. We are also dealing with a brief of the legal representative of the victims of about 100 pages, in addition to 1500 pages of transcripts of the three hearings,” he told the judges.

After hearing from the two defense teams on the issue, the judge decided to postpone the hearings until November 12th. The proceedings will take place according to the schedule set from November 12 to 15 and from November 19 to 20, 2018.

Prior to this decision, the prosecution gave its final submissions, asking the chamber to reject both defense motions to terminate the trial.

In the same vein, Paolina Massida, Legal Representative for Victims, called for the continuation of the proceedings.

“If this trial does not continue, the victims will feel aggrieved once again. This will mean putting an end to the only credible effort made so that justice is done for the victims of the post-election crisis. The victims expressed their view that the two defendants must answer for all the charges in the interest of justice,” she said.

The trial resumes next November.

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Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé are charged with four counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, and other inhumane acts, or – in the alternative – attempted murder and persecution. The accused allegedly committed these crimes during post-electoral violence in Côte d’Ivoire between December 16, 2010 and April 12, 2011.

This summary comes from Observateur Citoyen, which offers monitoring and commentary on the ICC’s proceedings arising from the post-election violence that occurred in Cote d’Ivoire in 2010-2011. It has been translated into English for use on International Justice Monitor.

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