Laurent Gbagbo was acquitted on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 by the ICC. The former president and his fellow inmate, Charles Blé Goudé, former head of the Young Patriots Movement, had been detained since 2011 in The Hague. Four counts of crimes against humanity were held against the two leaders: murder, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts.
The two co-defendants had pleaded not guilty, and recently filed applications for parole with the Court. In particular, asking for a total dismissal in October 2018, after more than 2 years of prospects. The lawyers of Gbagbo and Blé Goudé believe that the prosecution does not have sufficient elements to prove the charges "beyond a reasonable doubt".
On Tuesday, Presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser said that "the Chamber grants the acquittal requests presented by Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé (former leader of the Young Patriots movement, loyal to Mr. Gbagbo) regarding charges against them and "orders the immediate release of the two accused".
A historic ICC decision, after the acquittal of Congolese Jean Pierre Bemba in 2018. The announcement of the verdict of the ICC did not fail to create an explosion of joy among the supporters of former President Laurent Gbagbo; massed in front of the court seat in The Hague.
On his Facebook page, Laurent Gbagbo's wife expressed her joy after the release. In a statement published on her page, the former First Lady said, "The lie always goes first, but it is always caught up in the truth." Adding that "the truth is imposing today on the whole world. GBAGBO Laurent is innocent. BLE GOUDE is innocent. Inviting the different parties to dialogue and national reconciliation in Ivory Coast.
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