Prosecution Witness Claims ‘Blé Goudé Was Targeted’

November 13, 2017 was the second and last day of testimony for Balo Adama at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The transporter, an Abobo resident, was questioned by the defense teams of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé.

A transporter living in Abobo at the time of the 2010-2011 post-election crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, Balo Adama has completed his testimony before the International Criminal Court (ICC). The hearing of the 71st prosecution witness started on Friday, November 10, and was marked by a revelation about the intentions of Invisible Commando members regarding Charles Blé Goudé, the former leader of the Young Patriots.

Responding to questions from Blé Goudé’s defense team, Balo Adama claimed that the armed group targeted Blé Goudé, Laurent Gbagbo’s last youth minister.

“Blé Goudé, people really thought he was the one who incited hatred, he was the one they saw on television. So, he was targeted at that time,” said the witness.

During the hearing, Seri Zokou, a member of Blé Goudé’s defense team, read an excerpt from the witness’s testimony in which he explained how the former student leader who was planning a rally in Abobo escaped the Invisible Commando.

“There was an imam who was allied with the pro-Gbagbo…The imam reportedly called the pro-Gbagbo [camp] early in the morning to inform them that the fighters were planning to kill Blé Goudé if he came,” read the lawyer. The witness confirmed that statement.

Balo Adama also portrayed a tense situation in Abobo. “After the second round of the elections, Abobo had become something else…People had to get up and defend themselves because there were too many killings,” he said.

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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, 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.

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