ICC Upholds Acquittal of Former Ivorien President Laurent Gbagbo

The International Criminal Court appeal judges have upheld the acquittal of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo and former minister Charles Ble Goude on charges of involvement in deadly post-election violence.

They were both acquitted in 2019 for crimes including murder, rape and torture following disputed elections in 2010.

Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo

Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji noted the panel “rejects the prosecutors’ appeal and confirms the decision of the Trial Chamber.”

Judges said prosecutors failed to prove their case. That decision halted the trial before defense lawyers had even presented evidence.

Wednesday’s appeal panel’s decision to reject the prosecutors’ appeal against the acquittal ends proceedings against both men.

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Supporters of Gbagbo cheered outside the court building after the decision. Gbagbo is the first Ex-president to go on trial at the International Criminal Court. His trial is seen as a milestone in efforts to bring the highest-ranking leaders accused of atrocities to justice. He had refused to concede defeat after losing the 2010 election to Alassane Ouattara.

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