15th January 2019
The International Criminal Court today 15th January 2018 acquitted and ordered the immediate release of the 73-year-old Gbagbo who was the first head of state to stand trial at the ICC for the 2010/2011 post-electoral violence in Cote d’Ivoire that took the lives of over 3,000. His co-defendant, Charles Ble Goude was also acquitted.
The chamber by majority decided that the prosecution has failed to satisfy the burden of proof to link the Defendants to the crimes and further acquitted the Defendants of all charges.
The African Network on International Criminal Justice (ANICJ) is concerned about the fate of the victims in Cote d’Ivoire and also the fact that this decision is coming in at the time when the world is still recovering from the Bemba decision and the effect it had on the victims.
Justice is a not a one way traffic. ANICJ calls on the ICC and its organs to make all conscious efforts to ensure that impunity is not tolerated and victims of heinous crimes should not go without redress and assistance. In dispensing justice, the court must ensure justice for the accused, justice for the victim and justice for the state.
The Rome Statute system under articles 75 (1) ties reparations to convictions and once a defendant is discharged and acquitted of crimes, one may wonder the fate of victims.
The ANICJ calls on the International Criminal Court to put victims at the center of justice and ensure that they are adequately compensated. The establishment, strengthening and expansion of national funds for compensation to victims should be encouraged. Where appropriate, other bilateral and multilateral funds may also be established for this purpose, including in those cases where the state of which the victim is a national is not in a position to compensate the victim for the crimes.
ANICJ calls on the government of Cote d’Ivoire to take steps towards verifying and reparating victims of the electoral violence for which former President Gbagbo was indicted and tried.
- Chino Obiagwu,
Coordinator African Network on International Criminal Justice, Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court.
- Ali Ouattara,
President, Côte d’Ivoire Coalition for the International Criminal Court
- Burundi Coalition for the International Criminal Court
- Central African Coalition for the International Criminal Court
- Guinean Coalition for the International Criminal Court
- Sudanese Coalition for the International Criminal Court
- International Commission of Jurist Kenya
- Malian Coalition for the International Criminal Court
- Action des Chrétiens pour l’Abolition de la Torture l’Article du Tchad
- Ugandan Coalition for the International Criminal Court
- Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l ‘Homme(RADDHO)
- African Center for Democracy
- Institute for Security Studies- ISS
- Institute of Human Rights Development Africa
- Organisation des Femmes Actives de Côte d’Ivoire
- Moroccan Center of Peace and the Law
- Moroccan Coalition for the International Criminal Court
- Southern African Litigation Centre- SALC
- L’Association des Femmes Juristes du Burkina Faso
- La Coalition Nationale pour la Cour Pénale Internationale de la République Démocratique du Congo
- Chadian Coalition for the International Criminal Court
- Réseau Justice et Développement