Lawyers seek Gbagbo's unconditional release
Publish date: 10 February 2020
Issue Number: 859
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Ivory Coast
Lawyers for Ivory Coast's former President Laurent Gbagbo last week argued that he should be released without conditions while awaiting the prosecution's appeal against his acquittal at the International Criminal Court. The world’s first permanent war crimes court acquitted Gbagbo on crimes against humanity charges on 15 January, saying prosecutors had failed to prove any case against him. He was then conditionally released from detention after more than seven years in custody, to Belgium. A report on the Daily Maverick site notes that he was not allowed to return to Ivory Coast and has to remain in Belgium. 'The defence is of the view that in principle no restriction should be placed on a person who has been acquitted,' lawyer Dov Jacobs told the court. The defence has indicated that Gbagbo would like to return to Ivory Coast and possibly participate in October’s presidential election.