International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Philippe Mangou at the ICC: “The Invisible Commando Fired Mortar Shells at Abobo”

Philippe Mangou’s testimony before the International Criminal Court (ICC) ended on October 5, 2017. For his last day, the General discussed the management of the post-election crisis by the Gbagbo camp and also revealed that the Invisible Commando was firing in urban areas.

It was early afternoon on October 5, 2017 when the testimony of Philippe Mangou before the International Criminal Court (ICC) ended.

During exchanges with defense counsel, the witness—former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces—bitterly criticized the way the Gbagbo camp organized and managed the crisis period. The witness deplored a lot of “mistakes.”

“The way we managed the crisis, there were lots of mistakes. At each stage of the process, I approached the President to warn him that we … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Mangou Claims UNOCI Fired on Unarmed Civilians

In testimony before the International Criminal Court (ICC) on October 4, 2017, Phillipe Mangou discussed the role played by the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire during the 2010-2011 crisis.

Elements of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) fired on civilians during the post-election crisis, Philippe Mangou testified before the ICC. Mangou is the former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and a prosecution witness in the case of the Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé. He was being cross-examined by defense lawyers for the two accused.

Claver N’Dry, a member of the Charles Blé Goudé defense team, asked whether UN soldiers had opened fire on “unarmed civilians” during this crisis, asked the witness: “Did some members of the mission … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Philippe Mangou: “Gbagbo Accidentally Financed the Invisible Commando”

On his first day of cross-examination in the trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé before the International Criminal Court (ICC), Philippe Mangou made revelations about the Invisible Commando.

“The Money … Was Used for the Infiltration of Zakaria’s Lieutenants”

After a week of exchanges led by the prosecution, Laurent Gbagbo’s defense started its cross-examination of Philippe Mangou, Gbagbo’s former Chief of General Staff. The former boss of the Defense and Security Forces (FDS) made important revelations about the Invisible Commando, a militia based in Abobo and Anyama during the 2010-2011 crisis in Côte d’Ivoire.

According to the witness, the group led by Ibrahim Coulibaly, a.k.a. IB, was “accidentally” funded by Gbagbo. Mangou said that Gbagbo, who thought he had turned ex-rebel … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Mangou Says “Our Men Were Not Involved” in the Killing of Abobo Women

On the last day of examination by the prosecution, Philippe Mangou was questioned about the march organized by the Ouattara camp on the RTI and the March 2011 events in Abobo.

“Regarding What Happened with the Women, It Was Not Our Men“

The alleged killing of the seven women in Abobo on March 3, 2011 is an important event in the trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé, who are charged with crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court (ICC). On his last day of direct examination, prosecution witness Philippe Mangou testified about this event.

Mangou, Gbagbo’s former Chief of Staff, said that this incident had nothing to do with the military under his command.

“Our men were not involved. They were … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Philippe Mangou at the ICC: “I Apologized to Guillaume Soro”

For his third day of testimony before the International Criminal Court (ICC), Philippe Mangou testified about his relations with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Guillaume Soro.

Prosecutor Eric McDonald questioned witness Philippe Mangou, former Chief of Staff of the Ivorian armies, for a third day in the trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé before the ICC.

The questions mainly revolved around the legal framework of the former Defense and Security Forces (FDS) activities and provided the witness an opportunity to return to the remarks he had made in response to Guillaume Soro’s January 2011 statement. At the time, Mangou had accused Soro, the Speaker of the Ivorian parliament, of “calling in foreign forces to kill Ivorians.”

“Prime Minister Guillaume Soro … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Philippe Mangou Asked Gbagbo to Resign

Philippe Mangou was called for the second time before the International Criminal Court (ICC) on September 26th. On this occasion, the four-star general returned to the last weeks of the post-electoral crisis in Côte d’Ivoire.

On his second day of testimony before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the trial of Laurant Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé, Philippe Mangou was once again questioned by prosecutor Eric McDonald.

During his testimony, Mangou returned at length to the last weeks of the battle of Abidjan in March and April 2011. The prosecution witness also revealed that he advised Laurent Gbagbo to leave power at the height of the conflict.

“His Coming Was a Bit Like the Kiss of Death”

The Lieutenant-General said he made the proposal … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Mangou in Court: “Kassaraté and Brédou Were Not Straightforward”

The much-expected testimony of former Chief of Staff Philippe Mangou before the International Criminal Court (ICC) began on Monday, September 25, 2017.

Chief of Staff of the Ivorian armies at the time of the post-electoral crisis, Philippe Mangou, began testifying before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the trial of Laurant Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé on September 25, 2017.

Devoted to the organization of Ivorian forces during the Ivorian crisis, the first few minutes of the Prosecution team’s examination exposed the difficult relations between the witness and the other generals.

“With General Kassaraté, it was going well but during the crisis, we had moments of friction. At the moment when there was a need for staff to work on the ground, Kassaraté … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

ICC Appeals Chamber Reverses Decision on Laurent Gbagbo’s Detention; Orders New Review

On Wednesday, July 19, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) reversed Trial Chamber I’s ruling that former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo should remain in custody and ordered a new review in regards to whether he should be released. Gbagbo, who is 72 years old, has been in court custody since November 30, 2011 on four counts of crimes against humanity. He has sought interim release multiple times while in ICC custody, but the trial chamber has denied previous requests in part due to an alleged pro-Gbagbo movement that could help him escape, making him a flight risk.

The Impugned Decision

The trial chamber ruled in its March 2017 decision that circumstances had not changed enough to warrant Gbagbo’s … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Evariste Yaké’s Testimony Completed in Two Days

Evariste Yaké, a former Gbagbo supporter who became a Ouattara activist, finished his testimony on Wednesday, April 5th. The prosecution explored the witness’s reports with Charles Blé Goudé and the Patriotic Galaxy while the defense focused on exposing the opportunistic nature of his political career.

At the opening of the hearing on Tuesday, trial lawyer Lucio Garcia questioned Evariste Yaké about the Plateau agoras in Abidjan, which served as echo chambers for Laurent Gbagbo’s campaign, and continued to explore the composition of the various youth movements advocating for his cause. “What was the Patriotic Galaxy?” he asked, getting a vague answer.

“They were all those who loved Laurent Gbagbo and who were convinced that he was the right person to be president. … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Witness: “I received a Call from Blé Goudé Asking Me to Support Laurent Gbagbo”

Evariste Yaké, a former Laurent Gbagbo supporter who later became a prominent member of Alassane Ouattara’s party was the 37th prosecution witness in the Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé trial. His first day of testimony revolved around his relationship with the former leader of the Young Patriots.

It was a witness with a political profile, who began to testify Tuesday morning at the International Criminal Court. His background, implications, entourage, and relations with Charles Blé Goudé were reviewed by prosecution lawyer Lucio Garcia.

Evariste Yaké, a native of the Man region in western Côte d’Ivoire, is now a member of RDR (Rassemblement des Républicains) Secretary General, Amadou Soumahoro’s Office. “I am in charge of welcoming new recruits to the party,” he said. … Continue Reading

Leave a comment