Judges at the International Criminal Court will have ruled on Tuesday over former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo’s request to be acquitted and released after more than seven years in custody.
Gbagbo, 73, 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.
He faced four counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts during post-electoral violence in Ivory Coast between December 2010 and April 2011, when Gbagbo refused to accept defeat by rival Alassane Ouattara.
Legal experts say that during the trial, which is now declared over, prosecutors presented a lot of evidence crimes occurred, but few witnesses could link the ex-Ivory Coast leader directly.
The acquittal is a major setback for the prosecution, stung by defeats in cases against Jean-Pierre Bemba, the Congolese ex-vice president released in June after his war crimes conviction was overturned, and former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who saw charges against him dropped in 2015.
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