ICC confirmation of charges hearing of Charles Blé Goudé: a step towards truth

From 29 September to 2 October, an FIDH-LIDHO-MIDH delegation attended the confirmation of charges hearing of Charles Blé Goudé, former Ivory Coast Minister of Youth and alleged leader of the Jeunes patriotes militia.

Charles Blé Goudé allegedly played a key role in Gbagbo inner circle and allegedly served as an intermediary between him and youth loyal to Gbagbo. He allegedly bears individual criminal responsibility as indirect co-perpetrator for crimes against humanity (murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution, and other inhumane acts) committed in Ivory Coast between December 2010 and April 2011.

FIDH, LIDHO and MIDH welcome this additional step towards truth and accountability. At a meeting in The Hague, they reminded the ICC Office of the Prosecutor of the need to prosecute the perpetrators of serious crimes committed by all parties to the crisis.

Following this confirmation of charges hearing, the judges of Pre-Trial Chamber I will have to decide whether or not there are substantial grounds to believe that the suspect committed crimes against humanity during the post-electoral violence of 2010-2011 in Ivory Coast.

“The ICC should now put its words into action and demonstrate its determination to prosecute the perpetrators of international crimes on all sides. This is especially important since the prosecutions in Ivory Coast are not balanced and the judicial proceedings are making very slow progress,” our organisations said. “The ICC should also allow victims of the crimes being prosecuted to participate in a significant and effective manner in the proceedings” , they added.

Our organisations are civil parties in national proceedings relating to crimes committed during the post-electoral violence and as such reiterate their call to the Ivorian authorities to allocate substantial legal and material resources to the Special Investigative Unit in order to make it genuinely operational.

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