Statement of the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, following today’s decision by Trial Chamber I in the case of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé
In a decision this morning, two of the three Judges of Trial Chamber I of the Court in the case against Messrs Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé, decided to acquit them of crimes against humanity we allege they committed based on the evidence my Office collected through its independent and objective investigations. The Judges have made their decision. The Prosecution has the right to appeal this decision.
This situation involved allegations of serious crimes under the Rome Statute committed in the Côte d'Ivoire.
We will be carefully analysing the written decision of the Trial Chamber I and its reasons when they become available and assess the appropriate next steps.
The release of Messrs Gbagbo and Blé Goudé has been suspended until tomorrow morning when the Prosecution intends to make submissions on the matter before the Trial Chamber I of the Court.
I should also add that our investigations in the Côte d'Ivoire continue. We remain committed to our mandate under the Rome Statute and will continue to honour it. As we do, my Office is vigorously dedicated to doing its part, with the plight of the victims in Côte d'Ivoire foremost and always on our minds.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression. Since 2003, the Office has been conducting investigations in multiple situations within the ICC's jurisdiction, namely in Uganda; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic (two distinct situations); Kenya; Libya; Côte d'Ivoire; Mali; Georgia and Burundi. Pre-Trial Chamber II is seized of the Prosecutor's request for authorisation to commence an investigation into the situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Office is also conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Bangladesh/Myanmar; Colombia; Guinea; Iraq/UK; Palestine; the Philippines; Nigeria; Ukraine, and Venezuela.