Today, 29 September 2014, the confirmation of charges hearing in the case The Prosecutor v. Charles Blé Goudé opened before Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague (Netherlands).
The hearing started with the opening statements of ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, Legal representative of victims Paolina Massidda, and Defence counsel Nick Kaufman. The hearing is scheduled until 2 October 2014. Pre-Trial Chamber I is composed of Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi (presiding judge), Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova and Judge Christine van den Wyngaert.
The confirmation of charges hearing is not a trial. It is a Pre-Trial hearing held to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed each of the crimes charged. If charges are confirmed, the Pre-Trial Chamber commits the case for trial before a Trial Chamber, which conducts the subsequent phase of the proceedings: the trial.
Charles Blé Goudé allegedly bears individual criminal responsibility, as indirect co-perpetrator, for four counts of crimes against humanity, namely murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution, and other inhuman acts, allegedly committed in the territory of Côte d’Ivoire between 16 December 2010 and 12 April 2011.