23 October 2018

Cote d'Ivoire: Gbagbo Trial - Bensouda Opposes a Dismissal and Drops Charges Against Blé Goudé

Fatou Bensouda has dropped some charges against Charles Blé Goudé, who is facing trial as a co-defendant of Laurent Gbagbo before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for acts of crimes against humanity.

In response to a motion to dismiss the case submitted to Trial Chamber I by defendants' defense teams, Fatou Bensouda told the judges that the former student leader was not, in her opinion, involved in the death of seven women in Abobo or the bombing of the Siaka Koné market in Abobo.

"The Prosecution has reassessed its evidence with a critical eye to ensure the fairness and efficiency of the proceedings. In response to Mr. Blé Goudé's arguments (... ) the Prosecution does not object to Mr. Blé Goudé's second argument, asking in particular, that the charges against him related to the third and fourth incident be rejected. The Prosecution hopes that this situation will help speed up the proceedings," Bensouda submitted.

However, Bensouda said that this decision, if accepted by the judges, should not impact the other crimes alleged against Laurent Gbagbo's last Minister of Youth.

"The Prosecution would like to remind the Chamber that there would be no major change in the crimes or modes of responsibility of Mr. Blé Goudé for the crimes of murder, rape, other inhumane acts (or attempted murder) and persecution in the context of the incidents of December 16, 2010, February 25-28, 2011 and April 12, 2011," she noted.

With regard to the defense request for dismissal, Bensouda argued that it be rejected. According to her, "The rest of Mr. Blé Goudé's motion and Mr. Gbagbo's motion should be rejected because there is evidence on which the Chamber could sentence Mr. Gbagbo and Mr. Blé Goudé for the crimes for which they are charged."

The trial chamber will decide on the dismissal request filed by the defense teams after hearings during which the different parties will present their arguments.

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