International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Testimony of the Former Director-General of the Ivorian Police Ends

After six days of interrogation, the testimony of Brédou M’Bia, the police boss at the time of the post-election crisis, closed two days ahead of what had been announced. The trial will resume on March 6.

Brédou M’Bia’s testimony ended on Wednesday, February 22. Jean-Serges Gbougnon, of the Abidjan Bar and lawyer of Charles Blé Goudé, took the floor.

“I know it’s a bit difficult because usually you are the one who asks questions,” he told the former DGPN at the beginning of the session.

Turning to various statements by the witness and reports attached to the file or evoked during the hearings, the defense sought to show that the identification of certain groups of students, young people, or marchers, whether pro-Gbagbo or … Continue Reading

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Witness Questioned About the Ethnicity of Police Officers

Tuesday’s hearing in the Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé trial was reserved for questions by the defense to witness P-46, director-general of the police at the time of the Ivorian crisis.

Brédou M’Bia’s interrogation continued on Tuesday, February 21, in the presence of Laurent Gbagbo and the former Youth Minister Charles Blé Goudé. Both are accused of crimes against humanity for the violent aftermath of the November 2010 presidential election. According to the prosecution, they allegedly organized a “common plan” to allow Gbagbo to retain power “by all means.”

“I do not know if there were armed marchers“

On his fifth day of testimony, Emmanuel Altit, Gbagbo’s lead defense lawyer, returned to Alassane Ouattara’s supporters’ December 16, 2010 march on the Ivorian … Continue Reading

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Brédou M’Bia: ‘We Asked the Head of State to Withdraw’

The 34th prosecution witness in the Gbagbo-Blé Goudé trial, former Ivorian police chief Bredou M’Bia, continued his testimony on Monday, February 20, at the International Criminal Court (ICC). He has been in court since February 15 and has already very much informed the chamber.

This was the fourth hearing day for Bredou M’Bia. As with many witnesses, the personality of this former Ivorian police official during the 2010-2011 crisis had been appearing more and more clearly hour after hour and question after question. Sitting calmly at his table, this high-ranking officer, about whom it was now discovered that he had sometimes expressed opinions that diverged from those of his hierarchy, did not seem to have shown blind docility.

Sackings and dismissals

It was … Continue Reading

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Witness: ‘We Were Asked to Pledge Allegiance to Gbagbo’

Brédou M’Bia is a significant witness. The written testimony of this high-ranking Ivorian police officer, who was on duty at the time of the post-election crisis, is almost 400 pages and contains 333 documents. His interrogation is expected to last at least another week.

The duration of the hearings is continually lengthened to complete Bredou M’Bia’s testimony. A Director-General of the National Police until January 2017, he is the 34th witness in the trial of the former Ivorian President and his Youth Minister for crimes against humanity. After interrogating him for nine hours and 30 minutes, the prosecution had not concluded by Friday and even suggested to an exhausted courtroom that they start the hearing earlier on Monday.

“I feel like a … Continue Reading

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‘The Minister’s code was Atlas’

Former Ivorian police chief Brédou M’Bia, who is present in The Hague to testify in the Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé trial, continued giving evidence on Thursday, February 16.

Brédou M’Bia’s testimony, which started on Wednesday with a 24 hours’ delay following debates related to his protection, resumed on February 16 at the International Criminal Court (ICC). A technical problem first interrupted the barely open audience and irritated Presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser, “My dream of a trouble-free day will not come true today.”

Eric MacDonald, lead prosecutor in the case, then resumed his interrogation with the exploration of the communication systems used within the state forces and, more specifically, within the police.

The complex network of police communications

MacDonald sought to explain the … Continue Reading

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No Protective Measures for Witness P-46 at the Gbagbo and Blé Goudé Trial

Called to the witness stand of the Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé trial on Tuesday, February 14, Witness P-46 did not testify. The debate between the various parties concerning the modalities of the witness’s protection could not be settled and his appearance was postponed.

The witness who was due to appear before the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday, February 14, seemed to be an important witness. With “391 pages” of testimony and 12 hours of hearing scheduled, the file looked voluminous and dense. On Monday, Emmanuel Altit, Laurent Gbagbo’s lawyer, had also asked for a further delay to study this file, with the possibility that the start of the interrogation could be postponed to Wednesday, to which the Chamber … Continue Reading

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The Police Chief Who Knew Very Little

The questioning of Witness P-560, currently working at the Ivorian police headquarters, continued on Monday, February 13, at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The prosecution and the defense conducted their interrogation quicker than expected, and his testimony was completed by midday.

Adamo Bonaventure Guillaume Séverin, a witness currently serving in the Directorate-General of the Ivorian Police, received a special protection measure during his testimony. He was accompanied by a lawyer to avoid self-incrimination. After the prosecution’s interrogation by prosecution lawyer Lucio Garcia last Friday, he was questioned on Monday by the defense of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé.

From September 17, 2010 to March 9, 2011, Witness P-560, the head of the Adjamé district in the north of Abidjan, worked in … Continue Reading

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A Police Officer in the Gbagbo Trial

Working in the General Directorate of the National Police in Abidjan, Adamo Bonaventure Guillaume Séverin is the 32nd witness to be heard in the trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé. The witness was the head of the Adjamé district during the post-electoral violence.

“You can go home, Sir,” Presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser told Witness P-45, a former radio operator in the army, on Thursday, closing two days of hearing, charged with electricity and interspersed with private sessions.

The hearing of this Friday, February 10, opened with Witness P-560, who also came to testify without a pseudonym. The day was not without tension, with several altercations between the parties about interrogation methods. The witness had to go out several times to … Continue Reading

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Witness: ‘My Words Are Not the Gospel Truth’

The hearing on Thursday saw the conclusion of Sinaly Dosso’s questioning. In October 2011, the former army transmission operator handed notes from his private wiretaps to International Criminal Court (ICC) investigators. During an electric hearing day, the witness’s approach proved less innocuous than it seemed.

The interrogation of Witness P-45 resumed on Thursday, February 9, at the ICC in The Hague, with Sinaly Dosso, 68, a former senior radio operator in the army. First, Laurent Gbagbo’s defense continued the interrogation opened yesterday, followed by questioning from Charles Blé Goudé’s defense.

The hearing focused on the nature of the notes given by the witness to investigators from the prosecution in Abidjan, the material used during the eavesdropping from his home during the 2010-2011 … Continue Reading

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A Retired Soldier, a Transistor, and Wiretapping During the Crisis

A new witness appeared this morning in the Laurent Gbagbo and  Charles Blé Goudé trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC). This former staff sergeant, who served in the army’s communications section, explained how he had monitored the police, gendarmerie, and Republican Guard networks.

The 31st witness in the Gbagbo and Blé Goudé trial appeared at the ICC this morning. Like the previous one, Witness P-45 testified openly. A retired soldier, Sinaly Dosso lives in Abidjan. He was born in 1949 in Côte d’Ivoire, the former staff sergeant joined the army in 1968 and worked in the communications section while Félix Houphouët-Boigny was the president of the country.

In 1971, he joined the Ministry of Defense and worked in the international interception … Continue Reading

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