ICC Gbagbo case: The opening of the confirmation of charges hearing is postponed to 13 August 2012
Posted by African Press International on June 12, 2012
Situation: Côte d’Ivoire
Case: The Prosecutor v. Laurent Gbagbo
Today, 12 June 2012, following the request submitted by Laurent Gbagbo’s Defence, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to postpone the opening of the confirmation of charges hearing in the case The Prosecutor v. Laurent Gbagbo to preserve the rights of the Defence in fair proceedings. The new date will be communicated in the near future.
On 5 June 2012, Mr Gbagbo’s Defence requested the Chamber to postpone the opening of the hearing to allow the Defense team to prepare for an effective and efficient defence. Deciding on this request, Pre-Trial Chamber I took into consideration the fact that, in the context of the legal aid accorded to Mr Gbagbo, the Defence team was granted additional resources by the Court shortly before the opening of the confirmation of charges hearing, initially scheduled on 18 June 2012. The Chamber decided to postpone the opening of the hearing, to give the Defence time to apply effectively these additional means for its preparation for the confirmation hearing.
Pre-Trial Chamber III found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Gbagbo bears individual criminal responsibility, as an indirect co-perpetrator, for four counts of crimes against humanity, namely murder, rape and other sexual violence, persecution and other inhuman acts, allegedly committed in the context of post-electoral violence in the territory of Côte d’Ivoire between 16 December 2010 and 12 April 2011.
The Chamber also found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that in the aftermath of the presidential elections in Côte d’Ivoire pro-Gbagbo forces attacked the civilian population in Abidjan and in the west of the country, from 28 November 2010 onwards, targeting civilians who they believed were supporters of the opponent candidate. Allegedly, the attacks were committed pursuant to an organisational policy and were also widespread and systematic as they were committed over an extended time period, over large geographic areas, and following a similar general pattern. The attacks were allegedly often directed at specific ethnic or religious communities and left a high number of reported victims.
A plan allegedly existed between Mr Gbagbo and his inner circle and they were allegedly aware that implementing it would lead to the commission of the crimes charged. Mr Gbagbo, together with others, allegedly exercised joint control over the crimes, and made a coordinated and essential contribution to the realisation of the plan.