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ICC challenges the acquittal of former Ivorian president and co-accused

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On Monday, 16 September 2019, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) appealed against the acquittal of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo and his co-accused, Charles Blé Goudé.

The Prosecutor’s Office in the Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé case filed the “act of appeal today” and will now have “30 days to file its statement of appeal detailing the legal grounds for its appeal (in total 90 days since the notification of the acquittal decision),” a statement from Fatou Bensouda’s office said.

After receiving the prosecutor’s appeal brief and hearing the views of the parties on the grounds of appeal, the judges of the Appeals Chamber will then consider whether the decision at first instance should be upheld, it stated.

The Appeals Chamber will set the dates for the filing of such submissions, and may sometimes order appeals hearings, if necessary.

The Gbagbo-Blé Goudé cases were joined on 11 March 2015.

The trial began on 28 January 2016 and on 15 January 2019, Trial Chamber I, by a majority, acquitted them of all charges of crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Cote d’Ivoire in 2010 and 2011.

On 1 February 2019, the Appeals Chamber imposed conditions on their release following the acquittal of Gbagbo and Blé Goudé.

The former head of state was welcomed in Brussels, while his co-accused, Blé Goudé, remained in The Hague.

On 16 July 2019, Trial Chamber I filed the full reasons for the acquittal of Laurent Gbagbo and  Charles Blé Goudé.