ICC unseals two new arrest warrants

Yesterday, the ICC unsealed a third arrest warrant in the Ivory Coast situation, against Mr. Charles Ble Goude. The first two arrest warrants to be unsealed in the Ivory Coast situation  are arrest warrants against former President, Laurent Gbagbo (presently in ICC costudy) and against Simone Gbagbo (for whom the Ivoirian government hasapparently  issued a challenge to admissability, asking to try Ms. Gbagbo in Cote d’Ivoire).

The arrest warrant against Charles Ble Goude was issued as early as 21 December 2011, only a few months after the opening of investigations, for ‘indirect co-perpetration’ under Article 25(3)(a) for his alleged role in instructing and training the patriotic youth, who allegedly took part in post-election violence in Cote d’Ivoire, against anyone suspected of supporting Alassane Ouattara.

The arrest warrant was unsealed yesterday (1 October 2013) after news coverage quoted the Minister of Justice, Gnenema Mamadou Coulibaly who apparently reported such an arrest warrant existed.

The arrest warrant was issued by Judges Sylvia Fernandez de Gurmendi, Elizabeth Odio Benito and former ICC Judge Adrian Fuldord. Interestingly, in paragraph 16 of the arrest warrant the Pre-Trial Chamber states:

“16. Although the Chamber is satisfied that this substantial test (as proposed by the Prosecution), is made out, it is likely that this issue {i.e. Mr Blé Goudé’s suggested liability as an “indirect co-perpetrator” under Article 25(3)(a) of the Statute) may well need to be revisited in due course with the parties and participants.”

Mr Ble Goude is presently in custody in Cote d’Ivoire.

The ICC unsealed an additional arrest warrant today in the Kenya case against William Samoei and Joshua Arap Sang. The arrest warrant is against Mr. Walter Osapiri Barasa, issued on 2 August 2013 by Single Judge Cuno Tarfusser, for allegedly corrupting and attempting to corruptly influence witnesses.

One may recall at this point that the Prosecutor, Ms. Fatou Bensouda requested to withdraw her case against Francis Kirimi Muthaura mainly because of serious witnesses issues.

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