Charles Ble Goude [Trial Watch backgrounder], the former Ivory Coast Minister for Sports and Youth and close political ally of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo [BBC profile], was charged Tuesday with war crimes and murder. Goude has been in hiding since May 2011 when French special forces forced out and captured [JURIST report] Gbagbo after his refusal to leave office [JURIST report] following his loss to Alassane Ouattara [BBC profile] in the December 2010 election. Sanctions were imposed [JURIST report] on Goude by the UN Security Council [official website] in 2006 for inciting attacks on UN personnel, and the warrant for Goude's arrest [JURIST report] was issued in July 2011. Goude was extradited to the Ivory Coast [BBC report] from Ghana last week and is awaiting trial.
Last month the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] confirmed its jurisdiction [JURIST report] over Gbagbo, unanimously dismissing his challenge. In November the ICC unsealed an indictment [JURIST report] for Gbagbo's wife, Simone, marking the first time that the court has charged a female. Also in November the court found Gbagbo fit to stand trial [JURIST report]. In October the ICC denied Gbagbo's motion asking the court for allowance to leave the Netherlands while he recovers from alleged maltreatment received while detained by national authorities in the Ivory Coast before being surrendered to the ICC [JURIST reports] in November. The court denied Gbagbo's leave request upon a determination that he posed a flight risk. The violence that followed the 2010 election claimed approximately 3,000 lives. Ouattara was declared the winner of the 2010 election, and was able to take office following Gbagbo's removal.