The ex-head of the Young Ivorian Patriots, Charles Blé Goudé, will be tried from Wednesday in Ivory Coast for “acts of torture, deliberate killings and rape”, announced on Tuesday his lawyers, who denounce a “flagrant violation” of his rights.
Ivorian justice will try Mr. Blé Goudé in his absence, since he is on parole in the Netherlands, said Ndry Claver, one of his lawyers. « This hearing is a gross violation of his basic right to a fair trial, which requires the presence of the accused. »
« Charles Blé Goudé is not on the run, he is not evading Ivorian justice. He is at the ICC (International Criminal Court) through the action of the Ivorian authorities, « he added.
Blé Goudé and his former mentor, former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, were acquitted at trial by the ICC of crimes against humanity. They are on parole pending consideration of the prosecutor’s appeal by the ICC. They cannot return to Côte d’Ivoire until the procedure is completed.
“Torture, rape, homicides,…”
Mr. Blé Goudé was transferred to the ICC in 2014 by the Ivorian authorities.
The referral to the Ivorian justice of Mr. Blé Goudé was announced on November 7, for “facts concerning acts of torture, intentional homicides, rape”.
His party, the Pan-African Congress for Justice and Equality of Peoples, denounced « political harassment against its president ». The former “general of the streets”, thus nicknamed for his ability to mobilize supporters of Laurent Gbagbo, announced that he has long-term presidential ambitions, namely 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.