Gbagbo Trial: Written Acquittal Decision Announced for September

Expected in particular by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, the written decision concerning the acquittal of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé could be available next September.

On January 15, 2019, Trial Chamber I at the International Criminal Court (ICC) acquitted Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé of crimes against humanity.

Since that date, the Office of the Prosecutor has been waiting for the written decision of the trial chamber to decide if she will appeal. According to an ICC source quoted by Soir Info in its May 10, 2019 edition, this written decision of the trial chamber will not be known until September 2019.

This date, according to the newspaper, is due to the will of the judges to produce a complete document. “Their paper must contain several hundred pages, along with thousands of footnotes and must be available at the same time in English and French,” says the source quoted by the newspaper.

It should be noted that in an email addressed to Observateur Citoyen, the ICC spokesperson said that this decision would be published “in a timely manner.”

As a reminder, the Presiding Judge, Cuno Tarfusser, and Judge Geoffrey Henderson, forming the majority of the Trial Chamber, considered that the prosecutor failed to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate the responsibility of Gbagbo and Blé Goudé for the incidents under examination.

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Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé were charged with four counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, and other inhumane acts, or – in the alternative – attempted murder and persecution stemming from post-electoral violence in Côte d’Ivoire between December 16, 2010 and April 12, 2011. On January 15, 2019 Gbagbo and Blé Goudé were acquitted of all crimes.

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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