Africa

The ICC says Laurent Gbagbo can leave Belgium ‘under conditions’

The International Criminal Court on Thursday said former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo can leave Belgium under certain conditions following his acquittal last year over post-electoral violence that killed 3,000 people.

Gbagbo and his deputy Charles Ble Goude were both cleared of crimes against humanity a year ago, eight years after the former West African strongman’s arrest and transfer to the Hague-based court.

Belgium agreed to host Gbagbo, 73, after he was released in February under strict conditions including that he would return to court for a prosecution appeal against his acquittal.

However, Gbagbo and Ble Goude cannot “travel beyond the territorial limits of the municipality of the receiving State without the explicit and prior authorisation of the Court,” an ICC statement said Thursday.

Ble Goude, who lives in The Hague, was released under similar conditions as Gbagbo.

Gbagbo’s lawyers had in February appealed for his unconditional release arguing the ICC could not limit the movements of an acquitted person.

The Hague-based court on Thursday rejected the demand but said Gbagbo and Ble Goude could travel out of the countries they were currently residing in but have to “surrender all identity documents, particularly their passports” to the ICC.

They would also have to report weekly to the law enforcement authorities of the receiving states, it said.

(AFP)

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