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Gbagbo plans to return home to Ivory Coast on June 17

Newsdeck

World

Gbagbo plans to return home to Ivory Coast on June 17

Laurent Gbagbo (bottom-centre) prior to the opening of a hearing of the Board of Appeal of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on his request to reconsider the conditions attached to his release in The Hague, The Netherlands, 6 February 2020. The 74-year-old former Ivory Coast president Gbagbo was acquitted of crimes against humanity in January, but prosecutors appealed against the verdict. (Photo: EPA-EFE/Jerry Lampen / POOL)
By Reuters
31 May 2021 0

ABIDJAN, May 31 (Reuters) - Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo plans to return home on June 17 following his acquittal on charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court, his party said on Monday.

 

Gbagbo’s return could be complicated by an outstanding 20-year sentence given to him in absentia in November 2019 by an Ivorian court for misappropriating funds from the regional central bank.

In April President Alassane Ouattara said Gbango was free to return from the Hague but did not say whether Gbagbo had been pardoned.

Assoa Adou, the leader of a pro-Gbagbo party, announced the date of the former President’s home-coming in front of a crowd that had come to celebrate Gbagbo’s birthday in Abidjan.

Gbagbo, who turned 76 on Monday, served as president from 2000 until his arrest in 2011, after his refusal to concede electoral defeat to Ouattara. Post-election violence spiralled into a civil war that claimed the lives of 3,000 people.

On March 31 the ICC upheld a 2019 decision which ruled prosecutors had failed to present enough evidence to prove their case against Gbagbo and Charles Ble Goude, a former youth leader and one of his aides. (Reporting by Ange Aboa; writing by Hereward Holland)

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