The International Criminal Court (ICC) has listed conditions for the release of Laurent Gbagbo, former president of Cote d’Ivoire and Charles Blé Goudé, his ex-minister of youth and sports.
At the hearing held on January 15, 2019, the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, ruled by a majority that Gbagbo was free from all charges levelled against him.
On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”), by majority, “Judge Herrera Carbuccia dissenting, found that there were no exceptional circumstances preventing the release of Mr Laurent Gbagbo and Mr Charles Blé Goudé from ICC detention following their acquittal” on Tuesday.
In a mailed statement to TheCable, the court said the “ICC Prosecutor may appeal this decision. It would be then for the Appeals Chamber to decide whether or not to maintain Mr Gbagbo and Mr Blé Goudé in ICC custody”.
The Chamber directed the ICC Registrar to obtain the “necessary assurances from Mr Gbagbo and Mr Blé Goudé and their respective lead counsel in ensuring the return of Mr Gbagbo and/or Mr Blé Goudé, if and when their presence at the seat of the Court is requested”.
“The ICC Registrar will make the necessary logistical, organisational and diplomatic arrangements for the release of Mr Gbagbo and Mr Blé Goudé; the location of their release shall depend on their observations and on the agreement of the concerned State(s).”
Gbagbo is, therefore, to be released to travel back home, and be available at The Hague anytime the court requests his presence.
The ex-Ivorien president was charged to court for crimes against humanity, including murder and electoral violence, which led to the death of 3,000 people in the west African country.
After years of investigation, the ICC ruled that there was no evidence strong enough to prove that Gbagbo is guilty of the charges levelled against him.
His acquittal has led to jubilation and despair in the country, where 500,000 people were displaced after the 2010/2011 historic election.