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ICC prosecutor appeals Laurent Gbagbo’s release

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda on Monday appealed the acquittal of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo.

Gbagbo’s freedom was granted by judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) early this year.

He now stays in Belgium following his acquittal by the Court. That acquittal at the time was to be appealed by the prosecutors at the ICC.

The judges at the ICC however agreed to release Mr. Gbagbo from detention under certain conditions.

Mr. Gbagbo’s release was to be implemented provided he is accepted by a country.

Also that the country is willing to co-operate in enforcing any future decisions made by the ICC.

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s office said “The appeal will demonstrate that the trial chamber committed legal and procedural errors which led to the acquittals of Mr Gbagbo and Mr Ble Goude on all counts.”

Bensouda said Judges had cleared the pair “without properly articulating and consistently applying a clearly defined standard of proof.”

ICC prosecutor
Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Photo: REUTERS/Michael Kooren

War crimes charges

The ICC acquitted Mr. Gbagbo of all war crimes charges. Gbagbo was arrested in 2011 after violence erupted in Ivory Coast shortly after the 2010 elections.

He had refused to concede defeat to current president, Alassane Ouattara.

Mr. Gbagbo and his wife Simone, were arrested after a brief civil war. He was handed over to the International Criminal Court.

Some 3,000 people were reported dead and 500,000 displaced due to the war.

Gbagbo became the first former head of state to be handed over to the ICC and has been on trial since 2016.

He faced four counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts during the post-electoral violence between December 2010 and April 2011.

Mr. Gbagbo has however denied the charges, saying they were politically motivated.


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