The trial of the former head of the Young Ivorian Patriots, Charles Blé Goudé, which was due to open on Wednesday, has been postponed, an appeal in cassation having been filed, one of his lawyers, AFP told AFP. Suy Bi Gohoré.
The president of the Abidjan criminal court has decided to « withdraw the case from the roll » pending consideration of the appeal by the court of cassation, which could take several months, said the lawyer.
Mr. Blé Goudé is accused by the Ivorian justice system of « acts of torture, intentional killings and rape », according to his lawyers, who denounce a « flagrant violation » of his rights.
Charles Blé Goudé is not on the run, he is not evading Ivorian justice. He is at the ICC through the action of the Ivorian authorities
In fact, Mr. Blé Goudé, acquitted at first instance by the International Criminal Court of crimes against humanity, is on parole in the Netherlands, pending consideration of the prosecutor’s appeal. He cannot return to Côte d’Ivoire until the procedure is completed.
The hearing which was scheduled for Wednesday constituted “a flagrant violation” of “the elementary right (of Mr. Blé Goudé) to a fair trial, which requires the presence of the accused,” said Ndry Claver, another of his colleagues, on Tuesday. lawyers at a press conference.
The cassation appeal is based on the absence of Mr. Blé Goudé and on other procedural flaws, Suy Bi Gohoré told AFP.
« Charles Blé Goudé is not on the run, he is not evading Ivorian justice. He is at the ICC through the action of the Ivorian authorities, « said Mr. Ndry Claver.
Mr. Blé Goudé was transferred to the ICC in 2014 by the Ivorian authorities.
His party, the Pan-African Congress for Justice and Equality of Peoples, denounced “political harassment against its president”. The former « general of the street », so nicknamed for his ability to mobilize supporters of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, announced that he has long-term presidential ambitions after the next election in October 2020.
The Young Patriots movement has often been described as a militia by critics of Charles Blé Goudé and international NGOs, who consider that the latter was one of the main actors in the rise of tension in Côte d’Ivoire in the decade. 2000, which culminated in 2010-2011 in the post-election violence that killed more than 3,000 people.