Trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé opens at International Criminal Court
Situation: Côte d'Ivoire
Case: The Prosecutor v. Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé
Today, 28 January 2016, the trial in the case of The Prosecutor v. Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé opened at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, the Netherlands, before Trial Chamber I, which is composed of Presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser (Italy), Judge Olga Herrera Carbuccia (Dominican Republic) and Judge Geoffrey Henderson (Trinidad and Tobago).
The trial started with the reading of the charges against Mr Gbagbo and Mr Blé Goudé. Upon receiving confirmation from Mr Gbagbo's Defence Counsel Emmanuel Altit and Mr Blé Goudé's Defence Counsel Geert-Jan Alexander Knoops, Presiding JudgeCuno Tarfusser was satisfied that the accused understood the nature of the charges. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Senior Trial Lawyer Eric MacDonald took the floor for opening statements.
The proceedings will resume tomorrow, Friday 29 January 2016, with the opening statements of the Legal Representative of Victims in this case, Paolina Massidda, as well as the opening statements of the Defence of both accused.
Background: Laurent Gbagbo, former President of Côte d'Ivoire, was surrendered to the ICC on 30 November 2011 and he first appeared before the Pre-Trial Chamber on 5 December 2011. On 12 June 2014, Pre-Trial Chamber I confirmed, by majority, four charges of crimes against humanity (murder, rape, other inhumane acts or – in the alternative – attempted murder, and persecution) against Mr Gbagbo and committed him for trial before a Trial Chamber.
Charles Blé Goudé, born on 1 January 1972 in Niagbrahio, Côte d'Ivoire, was surrendered on 22 March 2014 to the ICC by the national authorities of Côte d´Ivoire following a warrant of arrest issued by the ICC on 21 December 2011. On 11 December 2014, Pre-Trial Chamber I confirmed four charges of crimes against humanity (murder, rape, other inhumane acts or – in the alternative – attempted murder, and persecution) against Mr Blé Goudé and committed him to trial before a Trial Chamber.
Photographs of the opening of the trial can be downloaded on the Court's Flickr account at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/icc-cpi/albums/72157654265965620
For more information and materials on the opening of trial, 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].