Interview exclusive: Trial of Simone Gbagbo, other proceedings in progress . The precision of Fatou Bensouda

October 20, 2017, 6:31 am

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court speaks of the importance of this institution and refers to the cases related to the Ivorian crisis and also the Mediapart affair.


Exclusive Interview / Trial Gbagbo, Simone Gbagbo Case, Other Proceedings ... Fatou Bensouda's Precisions

When you look at the world today, has the Cpi, in one way or another, blurred the hustle and bustle criminals and genocide in accordance with the mission it has set itself?

I sincerely believe that the creation of the Cpi must surely be one of the strongest and most proud moments of humanity. The fight against impunity for atrocious crimes at the national and international levels is of crucial importance. At ICC, we will continue to play our role, in accordance with the Rome Statute, and we count on the cooperation of our States Parties and the international community.

Is the trial Laurent Gbagbo-Blé Goudé proceeding as you had planned?

The prosecution can not publicly comment on the evidence it presents. It will be up to the ICC Chamber to decide this issue after all of the evidence has been admitted into the record of the case.

The ICC intended to initiate further prosecutions in Côte d'Ivoire. These would target the other party to the conflict. Is this still relevant?

My Office is engaged in ongoing investigations into crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC; crimes allegedly committed by the two parties in conflict during the post-election violence in 2010 and 2011 in Côte d'Ivoire. Since I took office as ICC Prosecutor, I have made it clear that, in the exercise of my mandate, my Office, in an independent and impartial manner, will seek to bring to justice those responsible of the post-electoral violence committed during the period in Côte d'Ivoire, regardless of their political status or affiliation.

From the outset, we have informed the Ivorian authorities in particular that we will investigate and prosecute those responsible for these acts without fear or bias. I conveyed the same message during the meetings I had with President Ouattara, as well as recently in a meeting with him on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the Assembly General of the United Nations.

The Bureau's investigations into the other party to the conflict have intensified since 2015. In order to protect the integrity of the proceedings and the witnesses associated with them, these investigations are, by definition, carried out with discretion and confidentiality. As an ICC prosecutor, I act independently and impartially, and I am guided solely by the considerations of the law and the evidence that we collect and continue to collect.

Is Simone Éhivet, the wife of Laurent Gbagbo, still claimed by the Cpi? Is not that about engaging you, in this connection, in a tug of war with the Ivorian government?

The representatives of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire had raised the issue of the inadmissibility of the case against Ms. Gbagbo on the basis of the existence of a case against her in the national courts. It should be noted that for a case to be declared inadmissible before the Court, the investigation and / or national prosecution must relate to the same person and substantially the same conduct alleged in the proceedings before the ICC. The judges of the Court have already ruled on the admissibility of this case and rejected this request, considering that the factual parameters and the nature of the crimes before the ICC were different from those before the national courts. Thus, the warrant of arrest issued by the judges of the ICC, in February 2012,

According to Mediapart, quoted by Rfi, the presence of Laurent Gbagbo before the Cpi is the result of a plot hatched by French diplomats, in collusion with the Ouattara power in Côte d'Ivoire and your predecessor, Luis Ocampo. What do you say to that charge?

The mission of the Prosecutor's Office, in connection with the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Laurent Gbagbo, is continuing, in accordance with the mandate of the Bureau defined by the Rome Statute. It is guided by the fundamental principles of objectivity, impartiality and independence. In so doing, the Office hopes to contribute to the truth about the unspeakable crimes and acts of violence committed after the elections in Côte d'Ivoire, as well as to bring some form of justice to the thousands of victims involved.

It must be emphasized that the allegations reported by the media - without prejudice to their accuracy - do not alter the gravity and severity of the allegations of crimes against humanity to which Mr. Laurent Gbagbo must respond, which he played during the post-election violence in 2010 and 2011 in Côte d'Ivoire. Neither the independent evidence of the Office, which continues to be presented to the judges of the Court, and even less the fairness of the current trial in which these charges are being examined. In view of the provisions of the Rome Statute, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and is entitled to a full trial.

Another recurring accusation against the ICC would be directed against African leaders. What do you say?

No. The ICC is a permanent, universal and independent Court. Its decisions are based on legal criteria and are issued by independent and impartial judges in accordance with the provisions of its founding treaty, the Rome Statute and other legal texts governing its work. The International Criminal Court is interested in all countries that have accepted its jurisdiction; these are found on different continents including Africa.

It is a treaty based court, which means that by becoming parties to the statute, states voluntarily accept its jurisdiction. Three situations on which the Court is currently investigating have been referred by African Governments. Between 2003 and 2005, the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and the Central African Republic referred situations in their own territories to the ICC. A fourth situation, Darfur, has been referred by a UN Security Council resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter - in accordance with Article 13 of the UN Charter. status of rome. The Court only makes such references if the legal criteria laid down in the Rome Statute are met.


 What role has Africa played in the adoption of the Rome Statute that founds this Court?

Without the support of many African countries, the Rome Statute might never have been adopted. 34 African countries are party to the Rome Statute, thus making Africa the most widely represented among the members of the Court. trust and support come not only from governments, but also (and this is fundamental) from the civil societies of these countries. The Court also benefits from the professional experience of Africans. Four of its current 18 judges are Africans. Several Africans hold high level positions in the court, including Prosecutor Fatuo Bensouda (Gambia) and Vice President joyce Aluoch (Kenya)


Interview by ELVIS KODJO (SPECIAL ENVOY)


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