Amused Glances on Witness P-441’s Last Day

After a closed-door discussion on what to do with the next witness, the International Criminal Court (ICC) again heard witness P-441 on the last (very short) day he was to appear before the court.

Séri Zokou, one of Charles Blé Goudé’s lawyers, resumed his questioning. He first spoke about “regular clashes” between neighborhood youths Yao Sehi and Doukouré in Yopougon.

How do you know that Agbolo stood in front of the door of Charles Blé Goudé’s home if you’ve never been there?” the Ivorian lawyer asked, referring to the statement made by the witness the day before, in which he called Agbolo Blé Goudé’s bodyguard. The witness provided explanations, but they were almost inaudible to the audience because of the voice distortion (which is supposed to guarantee the anonymity of the witness, in the same way as the blurring of his image).

Séri Zokou then considered the religion of the people who had been buried by the witness in April 2011. “What was the religion of these 34 people?” he asked. “I do not know about all of them,” the witness said, but added that the three people he knew were Muslims.

Jean-Serges Gbougnon, another Charles Blé Goudé Ivorian lawyer, quickly asked a few questions about neighborhood youths and training, but also the famous roadblocks in Yopougon. “Who made these roadblocks?” he asked the witness. “I do not know,” replied the latter. “Who asked them to put up these roadblocks?” “I do not know.

The lawyer finally questioned P-441 about the invisible commando “Do you know the invisible commando?” Answer: “No.” Lawyers for Blé Goudé exchanged amused glances. Gbougnon turned to Judge Cuno Tarfusser and said, “That’s all, Sir.”

Deputy Prosecutor Eric Macdonald also posed a few questions to complete the examination, after which P-441 was “released” to go back to his daily life. Witness P-0369 is expected next week.


Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé are charged with four counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, and other inhumane acts, or – in the alternative – attempted murder and persecution. The accused allegedly committed these crimes during post-electoral violence in Côte d’Ivoire between December 16, 2010 and April 12, 2011.

This summary comes from Ivoire Justice , a project of Radio Netherlands Worldwide(RNW), which offers monitoring and commentary on the ICC’s proceedings arising from the post-election violence that occurred in Cote d’Ivoire in 2010-2011. It has been translated into English for use on International Justice Monitor.