Press Release: 28 February 2013

Laurent Gbagbo case: The hearing on the confirmation of charges ends today


Today, 28 February 2013, the hearing on the confirmation of charges in the case The Prosecutor v. Laurent Gbagbo came to an end. The hearing started on 19 February 2013. During the eight-day hearing, the Office of the Prosecutor and the Defence were able to present their evidence to Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The legal representatives of the victims also had the opportunity to present opening and closing statements. 

The Prosecutor and the Legal representatives of victims will have until 14 March 2013 to complete their presentations by written submissions, to which the Defence can reply by 28 March 2013 at the latest. Within 60 days from the receipt of the Defence’s final submissions, the judges will decide whether or not there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the suspect committed each of the crimes charged. 

The three judges of the Chamber, Presiding Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, Judge Hans-Peter Kaul and Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert, may:

  • confirm those charges in relation to which it has determined that there is sufficient evidence. In that event, the case will go to trial before a Trial‐Chamber;
  • decline to confirm those charges in relation to which it has determined that there is insufficient evidence and adjourn the proceedings against Laurent Gbagbo;
  • adjourn the hearing and request the Prosecutor to provide further evidence or conduct further investigations or, alternatively, to amend any charge for which the evidence submitted appears to establish that a crime other than the crime charged was committed. 

Both parties can apply before the Pre‐Trial Chamber for leave to appeal the decision on the confirmation of charges. 

According to the arrest warrant issued against him, Laurent Gbagbo allegedly bears individual criminal responsibility for four counts of crimes against humanity: a) murder, b) rape and other sexual violence, c) persecution and d) other inhuman acts, allegedly committed in the context of the post-electoral violence in the territory of Côte d’Ivoire between 16 December 2010 and 12 April 2011. He was surrendered to the ICC on 30 November 2011 and he first appeared before the Pre-Trial Chamber on 5 December 2011. 

The ICC is a permanent international court whose primary purpose is to help to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, thus contributing to the prevention of such crimes. 

For information on the case The Prosecutor v. Laurent Gbagbo and on the confirmation of charges hearing, please click here.


For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected]


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