Ivory Coast : Gbagbo Contest Liberation Conditions

Lawyers of the former President, have submitted a complaint aimed at obtaining from the International Criminal Court (ICC), a review of conditions that had been imposed on his release when he was acquitted on 15, January, 2019.

Lawyers of Mr Gbagbo assigned in a commune in Brussels (Belgium), believe there are stringent conditions that prevent him from participating in the 2020 presidential election in his country.

In a 22-page document submitted on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, his lawyers are pleading and requesting that Laurent Gbagbo’s civil and political rights should be respected through his “immediate and unconditional” release. Since 1 February 2019, the former Ivorian president has been subjected to many conditions that his lawyer seeks to lift. One of Gbagbo’s lawyers, Emmanuel Altit considers these conditions arbitrary as no court text imposes such. He argues that, the conditions imposed on Laurent Gbagbo prevent him from participating in the campaign for the presidential election of 2020 or run for the office.

The former president's defense accuses the court of preventing him from "participating in the public life of his country", because he cannot go to Côte d'Ivoire. But could leave Belgium, only after having obtained the authorization of the Court.

It should be noted that prior to his release, Mr Gbagbo signed an undertaking to abide by all instructions and orders from the Court. Some of these conditions include, to be present at the Court when needed. To provide the address of the receiving State and contact information to the Court and request authorisation from the Court for any change of address. Not to travel beyond the territorial limits of the municipality of the receiving State without the explicit and prior authorisation of the Court. To surrender all identity documents like passport to the Registry. To report weekly to the law enforcement authorities of the receiving State or the Registry. Not to make any public statements, directly or through any other person, about the case or be in contact with the public or speak to the press concerning the case.

After the submission, the prosecutor must submit her brief to the Court next week and Laurent Gbagbo’s lawyers will have until December 16, 2019 to respond. Hearings will then be held before the chamber begins its deliberations.

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