08:28, February 02 61 0 theguardian.com

2019-02-02 08:28:05
Belgium agrees to take in former Ivory Coast president

Belgium has agreed to take in the former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo following his acquittal at the international criminal court in The Hague, a foreign ministry spokesman has said.

Karl Lagatie confirmed the agreement on Saturday, and added that he did not know if the ex-president was already in Belgium.

“That is also part of the framework of our support for international criminal jurisdictions,” he added.

The ICC freed Gbagbo on Friday after his shock acquittal last month on charges of crimes against humanity.

He and his aide, Charles Blé Goudé, were cleared on 15 January over the wave of violence after disputed elections in the west African nation in 2010.

But he was initially kept in custody after prosecutors argued that if released he might not return for a retrial if January’s acquittal was overturned on appeal.

He was released on condition that he stay in the host state until the court decides whether to let an appeal trial go ahead.

Gbagbo was the first former head of state ever to stand trial at the ICC.

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