Today, 2 October 2014, the confirmation of charges hearing in the case The Prosecutor v. Charles Blé Goudé came to an end before Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague (Netherlands). The hearing started on 29 September 2014. The Judges granted the parties and participants additional time to complete, in writing, their oral presentations.
During the four-day hearing, the Office of the Prosecutor and the Defence were able to present their evidence to Pre-Trial Chamber I, composed of Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi (presiding judge), Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova and Judge Christine van den Wyngaert. The Legal representative of the victims also had the opportunity to present opening and closing statements.
The Prosecutor and the Legal representative of victims will have until 10 October 2014 to complete their presentations by written submissions, to which the Defence can reply by 17 October 2014. Within 60 days from the receipt of the Defence’s final submissions, the judges will issue their decision. The Pre-Trial Chamber may then:
- confirm those charges in relation to which it has determined that there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that Charles Blé Goudé committed the crimes charged. In that event, the case will go to trial before a Trial-Chamber, composed of 3 other judges; or
- decline to confirm those charges in relation to which it has determined that there is insufficient evidence and adjourn the proceedings against Charles Blé Goudé; or
- adjourn the hearing and request the Prosecutor to provide further evidence or conduct further investigations or to amend any charge for which the evidence submitted appears to establish that a crime other than the crime charged was committed.
The Defence and the Prosecution can request authorisation from the Pre-Trial Chamber to appeal the decision.
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.