The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has set conditions for the release of Laurent Gbagbo, former president of Côte d’Ivoire who has been in ICC custody since 2011.
Gbagbo and Blé Goudé, one of his aides standing trial over crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Côte d’Ivoire in 2010 and 2011, had been acquitted on January 15 by the trial chamber of the court.
The appeals chamber on Friday, however, said it had decided unanimously that conditions are to be imposed on Gbagbo and Goudé upon their release to a state willing to accept them on its territory and willing and able to enforce the conditions set by the chamber.
These conditions, the chamber said, are imposed to protect the integrity of the process.
The ICC registrar was instructed to enter agreements with states willing to take them and also make interim arrangements regarding the release with conditions pending the conclusion of agreements with states.
Fatou Bensouda, ICC prosecutor, in a statement on Friday also said the prosecution still has the right to appeal the January 15 decision to acquit Gbagbo and Goudé of the “serious” charges against them.
“At this point, the Prosecution team is still waiting for the Judges of Trial Chamber I to provide their written decision detailing the legal reasons for their decision to acquit. Only after we have had the opportunity to carefully examine and analyse their reasoning will my Office make a decision on whether to appeal,” the statement read.
Gbagbo was president of Côte d’Ivoire from 2000 to 2011 when he was arrested.