Ex-Ivorian Leader Gbagbo Requests Unconditional Release

Ex-Ivorian Leader Gbagbo Requests Unconditional Release

Côte d’Ivoire’s former president Laurent Gbagbo on Thursday asked the International Criminal Court a release without conditions while awaiting the prosecution’s appeal against his acquittal.


Gbagbo, the first former head of state ever to stand trial at the ICC, and his aide Charles Ble Goude were cleared on 15 January 2019 over involvement in a wave of violence that erupted after disputed elections in the west African nation in 2010.

More than 3,000 people died on both sides after Gbagbo refused to concede defeat to his internationally backed-rival – and now president – Alassane Ouattara.

Gbagbo and Ble Goude were accused of playing a role in murder, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts during the post-electoral violence
The Hague-based court acquitted Gbagbo on crimes against humanity charges, saying prosecutors had failed to prove any case against him.

He was then conditionally released from detention after more than seven years in custody. He was not allowed to return home and has to remain in Belgium and report to the court whenever a hearing in his case is called.

On Wednesday, his defense said Gbagbo would like to return home and possibly participate in some form in October’s presidential election. Gbagbo has not said whether he intends to run again for the presidency.

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