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  • Nicoletta Fagiolo

The Gbagbo case. When international justice becomes arbitrary

Since 2011, Former President of Côte d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo has been under arrest and held in The Hague for alleged crimes against humanity. His former Minister of Youth Charles Blé Goudé has been incarcerated since March 2014. The International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted the two under the pretext of bringing justice to the post-colonial country following a post-electoral crisis in 2011. But a series of oversights, blunders and ambiguous judicial procedures could leave the ICC marred for skewed politics and arbitrary jabs at justice. Nicoletta Fagiolo looks at the ‘Asymetrical’ approach of the ICC in its trial vs. Ivorian leaders Gbagbo and Blé Goudé.

Two and a half weeks into the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) most high-profile case to date, the trial of former President of Côte d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo and Minister of Youth and Employment Charles Blé Goudé [1], talk of a politically motivated trial is already underway. “There is nothing serious against Gbagbo, it’s political pressure coming from France and I can do nothing,” ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda reportedly told Central African Republic presidential candidate Pascal Bida Koyagbele. According to South African columnist on foreign affairs Shannon Ebrahim, in her article “French Hand in Gbagbo's Fall” [2], Bensouda’s comment was as recent as October 2015, just three months before the trial began.

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