Journalism of Courage

ICC judges order for immediate release of ex-Ivorian president Gbagbo

Judges at the International Criminal Court on Tuesday ordered for the immediate release of ex-Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo and his co-defendant Charles Ble Goude.

Presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser said that prosecutors failed to prove their case and Gbagbo and his co-defendant, Charles Blé Goudé, a close ally and former political youth leader, should be set free.

Laurent Gbagbo, who was president of Ivory Coast from 2000 until 2011, is still able to mobilise a crowd of supporters who flock the premises of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands, every time he appears.

Today, these supporters are excited and expectant, hoping for the release of their ‘heroes’, Gbagbo and his co-accused, Charles Ble Goude.


Why Gbagbo is in jail?

About 3,000 people died in clashes during what prosecutors say was an attempt by Gbagbo and Ble Goude to ignore the internationally recognised victory of Gbagbo’s bitter rival Alassane Outtara.

The pair are accused of four counts of crimes against humanity including murder, rape and persecution during post-electoral violence.

Gbagbo was arrested after a months-long standoff with Ouattara’s troops, aided by UN and French forces. He was turned over to the ICC in 2011.

Charges against Gbagbo

Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé, a close ally and former political youth leader, have been on trial since 2016 for war crimes allegedly committed under Gbagbo’s leadership.

Gbagbo himself faced four counts of crimes against humanity including;

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Persecution
  • Other inhumane acts
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