16.09.2019 Africa

ICC appeals former Ivoirian president Laurent Gbagbo's acquittal

© AFP/Issouf Sanogo
LISTEN SEP 16, 2019
© AFP/Issouf Sanogo

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has appealed the acquittal of former Côte d'Ivoire leader Laurent Gbagbo over post-electoral violence that killed around 3,000 people.

Gbagbo, the first head of state to stand trial in The Hague, and his deputy Charles Blé Goudé, were both cleared of crimes against humanity in January and released the following month.

"The appeal will demonstrate that the trial chamber committed legal and procedural errors which led to the acquittals of Mr Gbagbo and Mr Blé Goudé on all counts," Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's office said.

Judges had cleared the pair "without properly articulating and consistently applying a clearly defined standard of proof," said Bensouda.

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

Crimes against humanity
Blé Goudé is meanwhile living in the Netherlands under similar conditions.

Gbagbo faced charges of crimes against humanity over the 2010-2011 bloodshed following a disputed vote the West African nation.

Prosecutors said Gbagbo clung to power "by all means" after he was narrowly defeated by his bitter rival, now president, Alassane Ouattara in elections.

However judges dismissed the charges, saying that the prosecution "failed to satisfy the burden of proof to the requisite standard".

The prosecutor had previously indicated in January that she intended to appeal but had to wait for the court's full written explanation for its decision, which came in July.

(With AFP)

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