Abidjan (AFP) – Charles Ble Goude, right-hand man to disgraced former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, was nicknamed “the final of the Streets” but insists he had no position within the deadly violence that has landed him on the global criminal courtroom.
The forty four-yr-historic firebrand, who’s partial to bespoke suits, flashy neckties and clothier African robes, faces 4 counts of crimes in opposition to humanity for his role in the bloody standoff that adopted a 2010 presidential poll and left three,000 persons lifeless.
The pugnacious Ble Goude has defiantly instructed the Hague-based ICC that his notorious pro-Gbagbo early life workforce, the younger Patriots, constantly acted in the interests of their country and for peace.
“the place are the hate videos? I have not visible any,” the previous student leader informed the ICC, where he and Gbagbo go on joint trial on Thursday.
“the place do I tell the younger Patriots to stand up and go and kill Ouattara supporters?” he had mentioned, relating to Gbagbo’s election rival and current Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara.
“I perpetually did the whole thing to carry Ivorians together.”
Ble Goude and his mentor Gbagbo, 70, are accused of hatching and imposing a plan to extra lengthen Gbagbo’s 10-12 months rule — which saw elections being again and again deferred — by means of a brutal campaign of murders and rapes.
According to French media reviews, Ble Goude is customarily receiving visitors in his mobilephone in the Hague, where he dresses immaculately and passes the time cooking Ivorian and African delicacies or playing soccer.
In keeping with experiences, he sees prison as an compulsory rite of passage, evaluating himself to the likes of Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, whose autobiography he’s reading in jail.
He has on the whole invoked Indian independence hero Mahatma Gandhi, US civil rights icon Martin Luther King and Mandela when speaking.
A mild man with a powerful command of rhetoric, Ble Goude is accused via ICC prosecutors of ordering his guys to murder, rape and burn alive 1000’s of men and women throughout the publish-electoral difficulty in 2010-eleven.
He came to Gbagbo’s notice through his ability to rally massive road crowds, bringing tens of countless numbers of men and women together for a 2004 protest towards former colonial ruler France, whom he accused of siding with rebels trying to oust Gbagbo.
“Ivory Coast isn’t a French department,” was his rallying cry. He additionally accused then French president Nicolas Sarkozy of planning to wage a “genocide” in Ivory Coast.
One in every of Ble Goude’s lawyers mentioned he will plead not responsible and demand that he “is just not a criminal” but a “man extra determined than ever for reality to emerge”.
“Mr Ble Goude just isn’t a criminal like what one is making an attempt to make persons to feel,” said Claver N’Dry.