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The International Court of Justice Dismisses the Dossier on Gbagbo, but detains him


The pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court has deferred the hearing on the confirmation of the evidence against the former President of the Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo. The pre-trial chamber dismissed the dossier compiled by the former prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, that was principally compiled from newspaper articles. It asked the new prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to collect contextual factors.

One of the three judges, Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi, issued a dissenting opinion. She considers that the dossier of the former prosecutor (Argentine, as is she) does not have to match the evidence that will be presented at trial but only has to demonstrate the importance of the facts; otherwise it would be a trial within a trial. Furthermore, she considers that the pre-trial chamber does not have to direct the work of the prosecutor. In contrast, the Chamber’s decision considers, on the other hand, that probative work still has to be done. However, in the absence of sufficient evidence, the accused, Laurent Ghagbo, remains in custody.

After he was defeated by French troops, Laurent Ghagbo has been transferred to the Hague to be tried on four counts for "crimes against humanity"; this charge justifies the a posteriori French intervention.

The International Criminal Court was established in 2002. It has 121 state members. To date, it has only tried African leaders.

Anoosha Boralessa

Voltaire Network

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