On 7 May 2015, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) scheduled the opening of the trial in the case of The Prosecutor v. Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé for 10 November 2015, in order to hear the opening statements of the parties and participants. The Prosecution will start its presentation of evidence in January 2016, at a date to be confirmed.
In light of its duty to ensure a fair and expeditious trial, the Chamber set the date for the opening of the trial after considering the Prosecutor’s undertaking that the disclosure of evidence will be completed no later than end of June 2015, as well as the Defence’s submissions regarding the time needed for preparation. The Chamber noted that the Defence will have more than four months between the date of full disclosure by the Prosecution and the opening statements, and two additional months before the commencement of the presentation of evidence. The Chamber found that this schedule would provide sufficient time for the Defence to carry out all necessary preparations.
The trial is conducted by Trial Chamber I, composed of Judge Geoffrey Henderson, Presiding Judge, Judge Olga Herrera Carbuccia, and Judge Bertram Schmitt.
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 Laurent 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 Charles Blé Goudé and committed him to trial before a Trial Chamber.
The crimes were allegedly committed in Côte d’Ivoire, between 16 December 2010 and on or around 12 April 2011.
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News Source: International Criminal Court