The decision not to broadcast the trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé, which had hitherto been an exception, has now become the rule. Pursuant to a decision of the judges to protect witnesses, hearings held July 6 to 8 will be out of sight of the public.
The Gbagbo and Blé Goudé trial is inexorably moving away from the public eye. As announced at a previous hearing, today’s witness was granted protective measures to hide his identity. Consequently, and in accordance with the judges’ decision not to live broadcast the trial in such cases, the appearance of this witness was not aired.
Pictures made public after redaction
The International Criminal Court (ICC) explained that in accordance with the decision of the trial chamber on June 16, 2016, “the ongoing hearings in the Gbagbo Blé Goudé case will not be broadcast directly…and this is to strengthen the protective measures for witnesses.” The ICC stated that “the images will be made available later, after redaction.” The hearing in The Hague was open to the public but switched to “closed-door sessions several times.”
Presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser announced on June 16, the decision that marked the end of systematic public hearings. The chamber considered this public hearing as a right for the accused but still let it be known that witness protection was always the paramount consideration.
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.