6 November 2018

Cote d'Ivoire: Legal Proceedings Against Simone Gbagbo - Prosecutor Requests Access to Ivorian Submissions

Convicted and amnestied by the Ivorian authorities, Simone Gbagbo is still wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Faced with the refusal of the Ivorian government to transfer the former first lady, the ICC has requested documents which the ICC Prosecutor also wishes to access.

Sentenced to 20 years in prison for undermining state security by authorities in the Ivory Coast, Simone Gbagbo was given amnesty and released from prison on August 6, 2018 by Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara. Simone Gbagbo was also tried and declared innocent of crimes against humanity during a trial before the Assises in Abidjan a few months ago.

However, the wife of Laurent Gbagbo is still wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for charges of crimes against humanity. Ivorian authorities oppose transferring Gbagbo to the ICC, which is based in The Hague, Netherlands.

The international judicial body has to determine whether or not it intends to continue its prosecution of the former Ivorian first lady. Therefore, Pre-Trial Chamber II invited the Ivorian authorities to provide information on the judicial decisions regarding Laurent Gbagbo's wife.

Fatou Bensouda, the ICC Prosecutor, wishes to have access to this information. In a request dated September 25, 2018, the Gambian jurist argued that as "the party who requested the arrest warrant against Mrs. Gbagbo, the Prosecution has a clear interest in this procedure." The Prosecutor has also asked for permission to make observations on the Ivorian submissions.

Pre-Trial Chamber II invited the Ivorian authorities to provide this information on September 14, 2018, giving them until September 21 to respond.

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