The trial in the case of The Prosecutor v. Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé is scheduled to open on Thursday, 28 January 2016 before Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court.
The chamber is composed of presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser (Italy), Judge Olga Herrera Carbuccia (Dominican Republic) and Judge Geoffrey Henderson (Trinidad and Tobago).
The trial will open with the reading of the charges against the two accused. The Judges will verify that the accused persons understood the nature of the charges. Mr Gbagbo and Mr Blé Goudé will be asked whether they plead guilty or not guilty to the charges. Oral opening statements will be delivered by the Office of the Prosecutor, the Defence teams, as well as the Legal Representatives of Victims, before the Prosecution starts its presentation of evidence.
Podcast host James A. Goldston, head of the Open Society Justice Initiative, talks to Mariana Peña, a lawyer who follows events at the ICC for the Justice Initiative, and to Afia Asare-Kyei of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.
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 Mr 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 Mr Blé Goudé and committed him to trial before a Trial Chamber.
Prosecution’s pre-trial brief on Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé