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DECISION ON GBAGBO’S DETENTION: ICC APPEALS CHAMBER REVERSES THE TRIAL CHAMBER’S

The question of Gbagbo’s interim release to be reviewed by the Trial Chamber due to numerous errors.

Laurent Gbagbo, ex-President of Cote d’Ivoire

Laurent Gbagbo, ex-President of Cote d’Ivoire  © ICC – CPI

Presiding Appeals Judge Piotr Hofmański, reading the summary of the appeal judgement

Presiding Appeals Judge Piotr Hofmański, reading the summary of the appeal judgment © ICC – CPI

On 19 July 2017, The ICC Appeals Chamber considered the question of the detention of Laurent Gbagbo in the case of the Prosecutor v Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé.

Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé are both accused of four counts of crimes against humanity, allegedly perpetrated during the post-electoral violence that occurred in Côte d’Ivoire from 16 December 2010 to 12 April 2011.The trial at the ICC opened on 28 January 2016, before the Trial Chamber. On 10 March 2017, the Trial Chamber ruled that Mr. Gbagbo should remain in detention pending trial. On 20 March 2017, the Defence appealed this ruling.

In reversing the Trial Chamber’s ruling, the Appeals Chamber considered that the Trial Chamber made errors that materially affected the decision on the detention.

Firstly, the Appeals Chamber observed that the Trial Chamber erred by considering the advanced age of Mr. Gbagbo as a factor that increases his desire to abscond rather than one that may potentially mitigate the possibility of absconding.

Secondly, the Appeals Chambers expressed the view that the Trial Chamber failed to consider the issues of the duration of the detention and the health of Mr. Gbagbo, alongside the risks being reviewed and failed to determine, all factors considered, whether the detention continues to be reasonable.

Thirdly, the Appeals Chambers contended that the Trial Chamber should not have considered Gbagbo’s denial of responsibility for the charges he faces as a factor favoring detention because no one should be forced to accept responsibility to achieve interim release. Indeed, such would be at odds with the presumption of innocence and the right not to be compelled to testify or plead guilty.

Accordingly, the Appeals Chamber reversed the Trial Chamber’s decision and remitted the matter of Gbagbo’s detention back to the Trial Chamber for a review.The Appeals Chamber further held that Gbagbo should remain in detention pending the review.

Sources:

Judgment transcript: https://www.icc-cpi.int/Pages/record.aspx?docNo=ICC-02/11-01/15-992-Red

ICC Press Release: https://www.icc-cpi.int/Pages/item.aspx?name=PR1325

Links to the video of the Appeals Chamber Judgement: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zhhh5pt44al2w77/170719_gbagbo_detention_appeals_decision_FLOOR.mp4?dl=0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNE9TPt09P4&feature=youtu.be

 

 

enclosure:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/zhhh5pt44al2w77/170719_gbagbo_detention_appeals_decision_FLOOR.mp4?dl=0 0 video/mp4

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