Cote d'Ivoire: Gbagbo-Blé Goudé Trial - the Latest Decisions of the Appeals Chamber

International Criminal Court, The Hague

Under conditional release since their acquittal in January 2019, Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé recently heard the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) rule on requests from their defense teams.

In a document published on November 26, 2019 on the website of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, president of the Appeals Chamber of the court based in The Hague, delivered his decision concerning a request by Laurent Gbagbo's defense team.

The latter wished to be granted additional time before responding to the appeal brief filed before the Appeals Chamber by prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in response to Gbagbo's acquittal last year. According to Emmanuel Altit, Gbagbo's lead defense lawyer, extra time is needed to translate the prosecution's submissions into French.

On this point, the president of the Appeals Chamber decided to respond favorably to the defense request. "The time limit for the filing of Mr. Gbagbo and Mr. Blé Goudé's responses to the Prosecutor's appeal brief is extended such that they shall be filed within 14 days of receipt of the full draft French translation," said the Nigerian judge's decision.

The case of Blé Goudé was also mentioned in the document written in English. "Although Mr. Blé Goudé did not request an extension of time, the judge added, the Appeals Chamber decided to also extend Mr. Blé Goudé's response time, which places him on the same calendar as Mr. Gbagbo."

The president of the Appeals Chamber also specified that it would be necessary to wait until July 2020 for a revised French translation of the document submitted by Bensouda before the court last October. However, this translation would be done in successive waves and the defense teams should receive the first translated documents by December 2019.

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Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé were charged with four counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, and other inhumane acts, or - in the alternative - attempted murder and persecution stemming from post-electoral violence in Côte d'Ivoire between December 16, 2010 and April 12, 2011. On January 15, 2019, Gbagbo and Blé Goudé were acquitted of all crimes.

This summary comes from Observateur Citoyen, which offers monitoring and commentary on the ICC's proceedings arising from the post-election violence that occurred in Cote d'Ivoire in 2010-2011. It has been translated into English for use on International Justice Monitor.

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