ICC allows Laurent Gbagbo to leave Belgium

The International Criminal Court on Thursday said former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo can leave Belgium under certain conditions following his acquittal last year over post-electoral violence that killed 30,000 people.

Both Gbagbo and his deputy Charles Ble Goude were cleared of crimes against humanity eight years after the former West African strongman’s arrest and transfer to the Hague-based court.

According to an ICC spokesperson, Gbagbo could travel provided if the court he was going to agreed to receive him.

His return to Ivory  Coast remains uncertain.

Spokesperson of Gbagbo’s party Ivorian Popular Front Party (FPI), Franck Anderson said: “We are happy, it’s important that these restrictions are lifted.”

“We are waiting for the date of his return. We will welcome him,” Gbagbo said.

Gbagbo’s lawyers had appealed for his unconditional release arguing the ICC could not limit the movements of an acquitted person.

The court on Thursday rejected the demands, but revoked certain restrictions on them including banning “travel beyond the territorial limits of the municipality of the receiving state without the explicit and prior authorisation of the court.”

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