Witness Testifies In Closed Session in The Hague

November 16, 2017 the hearing in the Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé trial was held in closed session. Today’s witness spoke in the strict intimacy of Courtroom 1 in The Hague-based court.                   

Testimony in the Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC) was heard by Judge Cuno Tarfusser’s court in camera, closed to the public.

Questioned by  Ivoire Justice on this measure, ICC spokesman Fadi El-Abdallah explained via email:

Judges may decide to hold hearings in camera in accordance with two essential principles of the Rome Statute: the right of the accused to have his case heard publicly (Article 67 (1)) and  the Court’s duty to take appropriate action to protect witnesses (Rule 68.2 and Rule 87 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence) which allows for exceptions to protect witnesses, including the use of pseudonyms, deformation of image and voice, and closed sessions.

It is likely, therefore, that public testimony could present risks to the witness’ security.


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.