Cote d’Ivoire: Acquittal of Gbagbo and Blé Goudé a crushing disappointment to victims of post-election violence
Following today’s International Criminal Court (ICC) decision to acquit Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé, Marie-Evelyne Petrus Barry Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa Director said:
“The acquittal of Gbagbo and Blé Goudé is a crushing disappointment to victims of post-election violence in Cote d’Ivoire. However, the judges found that the Office of the Prosecutor had not presented evidence needed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. The Chamber ordered both accused to be immediately released.
“The Office of the Prosecutor is likely to appeal this acquittal and the arrangements for the accused to be released will be addressed during a hearing to be held tomorrow morning at the Court.
“This ICC ruling reminds us that fair trial and due process must be at the heart of international criminal justice.
“Victims of the 2010-2011 violence are yet to see justice and reparations for the harm they suffered.”
For more information or to request an interview please contact: Lucy Scholey, Amnesty International Canada (English): + 613-744-7667 ext. 236; firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court acquitted former Côte d’Ivoire president Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé, his former Youth minister. The Defense Motion for acquittal and immediate release was filed on 23 July 2018 by Laurent Gbagbo's defence. On 3 August 2018, Charles Blé Goudé’s defence filed a No Case to Answer Motion.
Gbagbo and Blé Goudé were accused of four counts of crimes against humanity: murder, rape, other inhumane acts/ attempted murder, and persecution. These crimes were allegedly committed as post-election violence swept through Côte d'Ivoire between 16 December 2010 and 12 April 2011. Their ICC trial opened on 28 January 2016. Today’s decision terminates the proceedings against the accused, unless the decision is appealed by the Office of the Prosecutor.