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IVORY COAST’S GBAGBO IN BELGIUM AFTER ICC ACQUITTAL

GbagboMr Gbagbo was cleared of crimes against humanity on January 15.
Belgium’s condition to host Mr Gbagbo include that he returns to court if required for a possible prosecution appeal.
Gbagbo was the first former head of state to stand trial at the ICC and had been held in the Netherlands since 2011.

 

More than 3,000 people died on both sides of the Ivory Coast conflict after Gbagbo refused to concede defeat to his internationally backed-rival Alassane Ouattara.
The ICC’s unwillingness to let Gbagbo return to Ivory Coast could be linked to that country’s refusal to surrender Gbagbo’s first wife, Simone.

 

Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo has been released in Belgium under conditions following his acquittal by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the court said Tuesday.

 

Belgium said on Saturday that it had agreed in principle to host Gbagbo pending a possible prosecution appeal, after he was cleared of crimes against humanity on January 15.

 

The conditions include that Gbagbo, 73, will return to court if required for a possible prosecution appeal against his acquittal, and that he surrender his passport to Belgian authorities.

 

“Mr Gbagbo is now released under conditions in Belgium,” an ICC spokeswoman said, without giving further details.

 

POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE
ICC judges acquitted Gbagbo and Ble Goude on charges stemming from a wave of violence after disputed elections in the west African nation in 2010.

 

More than 3,000 people died on both sides of the Ivory Coast conflict after Gbagbo refused to concede defeat to his internationally backed-rival — and now-president — Alassane Ouattara.

 

The former strongman and his aide Charles Ble Goude have been staying in an undisclosed location since their release from an official ICC detention centre late Friday.

 

Belgian immigration office spokeswoman Dominique Ernould confirmed that Gbagbo had been granted a visa.

 

“We have given instructions to grant him a visa, which allows him to stay for 90 days,” she said.

 

 

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