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Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé acquitted by the International Criminal Court

Tuesday, 15 January 2019 15:27
Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé acquitted by the International Criminal Court

(Ecofin Agency) - The International Criminal Court has just acquited the former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo (photo) and his then youth minister, Charles Blé Goudé. For the former president who was jailed in the Netherlands since 2011, after seven months in a prison in his country after his downfall in April 2011, this is the end of a chapter of his life.

He was indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Indeed, the prosecutor of that court, Fatou Bensouda, estimated that the former president had elaborated a strategy to remain president at all costs.

During the hearing, which started in January 2016, 80 witnesses were presented but the ex-president’s guilt was never demonstrated the, judge estimated.

This verdict comes to revive a political career that was halted after the 2011 presidential elections in his country. It also reshuffles the cards of the Ivorian political game.

Indeed, though the current president Alassane Ouattara, who will end his last term in 2020, can show a positive economic performance, he was not able to eliminate the ghosts of the political crisis of 2011 and the tension it created. Since the start, his government has been accused of establishing a "victors’ justice". 

The release, some months ago, of Simone Gbagbo, the former first lady, was announced as a sign favouring dialogue and reconciliation.

For some analysts, Laurent Gbagbo is already the key factor for a 2020 presidential election that looks tense.

Aaron AKINOCHO

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