Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, has been declared innocent of all charges against him by an Appeals Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court, ICC. Also acquitted was Mr Blé Goudé.
A press release made available to Igbodefender read:
“Today, 31 March 2021, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”) delivered its judgment on the Prosecutor’s appeal against Trial Chamber I’s decision of 15 January 2019, which had acquitted, by majority, Mr Gbagbo and Mr Blé Goudé of all charges of crime against humanity allegedly committed in Côte d’Ivoire in 2010 and 2011.
“The Appeals Chamber confirmed, by majority, Judge Ibáñez and Judge Bossa dissenting, the decision of the Trial Chamber.
“The acquittal of Mr Gbagbo and Mr Blé Goudé is now final.”
What does this mean for Ivory Coast’s politics? A man who was swept out of the country in the wake of the victory of President Alassane Ouattara is free to return. Hopefully, the periods of instability in Ivory Coast are gone and whatever politics this leads to will be markedly peaceful.
Sometimes people acquitted by international criminal courts and tribunals find it difficult to return because some in their country still doubt their innocence. But because of the political heft of Gbagbo, a former 2-term president, he will undoubtedly face a lot of pressure to return from his supporters.
It is unlikely that he will run for president again, having served for 2 terms. He might however, try to become a king-maker in Ivory Coast politics.
It is a feat for someone charged with several counts of a core international crime to be acquitted of all charges. This latest acquittal by the Appeals Chamber means there practically can be no further appeals.