Simone Gbagbo case: ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I rejects Côte d’Ivoire’s challenge to the admissibility of the case and reminds the Government of its obligation to surrender Simone Gbagbo
Situation: Republic of Côte d'Ivoire
Case:The Prosecutor v. Simone Gbagbo
Today, 11 December 2014, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) rejected the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire's challenge to the admissibility of the case against Simone Gbagbo before the Court, and reminded Côte d'Ivoire of its obligation to surrender Simone Gbagbo to the Court without delay.
A challenge to the admissibility of a case before the ICC is granted if the case is being genuinely investigated or prosecuted by a State which has jurisdiction over it, unless the State is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out the investigation or prosecution. For a case to be declared inadmissible, the national investigation and/or prosecution must cover the same individual and substantially the same conduct as alleged in the proceedings before the Court.
After a thorough assessment of the documentation made available to the Chamber, in accordance with article 17(1)(a) of the Rome Statute, the Chamber concluded that Côte d'Ivoire's domestic authorities were not taking tangible, concrete and progressive steps aimed at ascertaining whether Simone Gbagbo is criminally responsible for the same conduct that is alleged in the case before the Court.
Accordingly, Pre-Trial Chamber I rejected the admissibility challenge. Having found the case against Simone Gbagbo admissible before the ICC, the Chamber reminded Côte d'Ivoire of its obligation to surrender Simone Gbagbo to the Court without delay.
Background: On 29 February 2012, the judges issued a warrant of arrest under seal. The warrant of arrest against Mrs Gbagbo was unsealed on 22 November 2012. According to the warrant of arrest, Mrs Gbagbo is allegedly responsible, within the meaning of article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute, for the crimes against humanity of murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, other inhumane acts and persecution allegedly committed in the territory of Côte d'Ivoire during the period between 16 December 2010 and 12 April 2011.
On 30 September 2013, Côte d'Ivoire challenged the admissibility of the case against Simone Gbagbo, arguing that a case against the same person for the same crime was being prosecuted at the national level.
On 15 November 2013, the Chamber decided that Côte d'Ivoire may postpone the execution of Mrs Gbagbo's surrender request pending a final determination by the Chamber on the admissibility challenge.
On 28 August 2014, Pre-Trial Chamber issued a decision requiring additional submissions related to Côte d'Ivoire's admissibility challenge. On 10 October 2014, Côte d'Ivoire filed additional submissions related to the admissibility of the case against Simone Gbagbo, as requested by the judges.
Questions & Answers about the decision (in French)
Further information on this case is available here.
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