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Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo (file photo)
Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo (file photo)

ICC delays release of former Ivory Coast President until February

ANI | Updated: Jan 19, 2019 04:44 IST

The Hague [The Netherlands], Jan 19 (ANI): The International Criminal Court (ICC) appeals' judges have delayed the release of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, despite being acquitted of all charges of crimes against humanity.
Gbagbo, who served as the president of the West African country from 2001 until his arrest in 2011, was acquitted by the ICC on Tuesday for his alleged involvement in election-related violence in 2010 and 2011, in which around 3,000 people died, due to lack of evidence.
Prior to the ruling, Gbagbo had spent seven years in ICC custody.
Following the clean chit, the trial judges had ordered the release of Gbagbo and former Youth Minister Charles Ble Goude, another accused, while refusing a plea by the prosecutors to extend their custody while they continue to appeal in the matter.
However, a five-member appeals' panel on Friday accepted the request from the prosecutors, ruling the decision 3-2. A new date for hearing the trial chamber's decision to acquit Gbagbo and Ble Goude has been set for February 1.
"The Appeals Chamber suspended the effect of Trial Chamber I's decision to release Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Ble Goude and scheduled a hearing on 1 February 2019 to hear further submissions on the appeal, and ordered the submission of the appeal brief of the Prosecutor no later than 23 January 2019 as well as responses thereto from Gbagbo, Ble Goude and the victims participating in the proceedings no later than 29 January 2019," a statement from the ICC read.
Violence broke out in Ivory Coast after Gbagbo refused to step down from his post even after his opponent Alassane Ouattara won the presidential elections in 2010. Subsequently, massive protests took place and thousands of people were killed in the unrest, while hundreds were displaced.
Following this, Gbagbo was arrested in 2011 and was put on trial at the ICC court in The Hague where he faced charges of crimes against humanity in Ivory Coast. (ANI)