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World Ex-Ivory Coast leader at Belgian airport, likely headed home

12:10  17 june  2021
12:10  17 june  2021 Source:   msn.com

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The former president of the Ivory Coast , Laurent Gbagbo, checked in at Belgium ’s main airport on Thursday, his lawyer said, ready to fly to his home country for the first time in nearly a decade after being acquitted by the International Criminal Court. Gbagbo was not seen checking in by waiting media, but lawyer Habiba Toure told The Associated Press that he was finalizing his flight formalities and had headed into the departures area of Brussels airport through a protocol entrance.

Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo is expected to return home , 10 years after he was taken to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of crimes against humanity. Mr Gbagbo has been living in the Belgian capital Brussels since his release from detention three years ago. He always denied all the allegations. In March, the ICC appeals court upheld a 2019 acquittal, saying the prosecution had failed to prove its case against Mr Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé, an ally and former youth leader who was accused of leading a militia backing him.

BRUSSELS (AP) — The former president of the Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, checked in at Belgium’s main airport on Thursday, his lawyer said, ready to fly to his home country for the first time in nearly a decade after being acquitted by the International Criminal Court.

Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo greets supporters attending the court session at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Gbagbo is scheduled to return home to Ivory Coast Thursday June 17, 2021 for the first time in nearly a decade. The move comes after his acquittal on war crimes charges was upheld at the International Criminal Court earlier this year. (AP Photo/Jerry Lampen, Pool) © Provided by Associated Press Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo greets supporters attending the court session at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Gbagbo is scheduled to return home to Ivory Coast Thursday June 17, 2021 for the first time in nearly a decade. The move comes after his acquittal on war crimes charges was upheld at the International Criminal Court earlier this year. (AP Photo/Jerry Lampen, Pool) FILE - In this April 11, 2011 file photo, former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, center, and his wife Simone, are seen in the custody of republican forces loyal to election winner Alassane Ouattara, at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Gbagbo is scheduled to return home to Ivory Coast Thursday June 17, 2021 for the first time in nearly a decade. The move comes after his acquittal on war crimes charges was upheld at the International Criminal Court earlier this year. (AP Photo/Aristide Bodegla, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this April 11, 2011 file photo, former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, center, and his wife Simone, are seen in the custody of republican forces loyal to election winner Alassane Ouattara, at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Gbagbo is scheduled to return home to Ivory Coast Thursday June 17, 2021 for the first time in nearly a decade. The move comes after his acquittal on war crimes charges was upheld at the International Criminal Court earlier this year. (AP Photo/Aristide Bodegla, File)

Gbagbo was not seen checking in by waiting media, but lawyer Habiba Toure told The Associated Press that he was finalizing his flight formalities and had headed into the departures area of Brussels airport through a protocol entrance.

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Ex - Ivory Coast leader who was cleared of crimes against humanity at Hague trial is freed in Belgium 'under surveillance' while prosecutors mull appeal. Belgium said on Saturday that it had agreed in principle to host Gbagbo pending a possible prosecution appeal, after he was cleared of crimes against humanity on January 15. The conditions include that the 73-year-old will return to court if required for a possible prosecution appeal against his acquittal, and that he surrender his passport to Belgian authorities.

Abidjan (AFP) - Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo, currently on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, has been chosen to head the dissident wing of the Ivorian People's Party (FPI), the party he created. Meanwhile FPI head and former Ivory Coast premier Pascal Affi Guessan, was on Saturday re -elected to head the party for another five years, a party official said. The party is in crisis, split into two factions. The larger group supports Guessan while the dissidents back Abdoudramane Sangare, a close ally of Gbagbo.

A commercial flight transiting through Felix Houphouet-Boigny International Airport in Ivory Coast’s biggest city, Abidjan, was scheduled to leave at 10:55 am local time (0855 GMT).

Gbagbo’s refusal to accept defeat in the 2010 presidential election sparked months of violence that killed at least 3,000 people and brought Ivory Coast to the brink of civil war. He has spent much of the past decade since his arrest in the Netherlands awaiting trial on charges of crimes against humanity.

Supporters of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo gather at the Brussels international airport in Brussels, Thursday, June 17, 2021. The former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo is returning home to Ivory Coast for the first time in nearly a decade, after his acquittal on war crimes charges was upheld at the International Criminal Court earlier this year. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys) © Provided by Associated Press Supporters of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo gather at the Brussels international airport in Brussels, Thursday, June 17, 2021. The former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo is returning home to Ivory Coast for the first time in nearly a decade, after his acquittal on war crimes charges was upheld at the International Criminal Court earlier this year. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

In 2019, the judge said prosecutors had failed to make their case even before the defense lawyers had presented their side. The former president was released from custody two years ago but has been living in Belgium pending the outcome of the appeal by ICC prosecutors.

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Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo has been released on bail to Belgium following his acquittal by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity, the court said Tuesday. He must also surrender his travel documents, report to authorities weekly, avoid contacting witnesses in Ivory Coast , and refrain from making public statements about the case, court documents said on Friday. Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said on Saturday that there had been “a request from the court to host Mr Gbagbo simply because he has family in Belgium : his

Lawyers for Ivory Coast 's former president Laurent Gbagbo argued on Thursday that he should be released without conditions while awaiting the prosecution's appeal against his acquittal at the International Criminal Court. He was not allowed to return to Ivory Coast and has to stay in Belgium , whose government has agreed to send him back to the ICC if needed. "The defense is of the view that in principle no restriction should be placed on a person who has been acquitted," Gbagbo's lawyer Dov Jacobs told the court.

Gbagbo’s scheduled return to Ivory Coast on Thursday is galvanizing his supporters, who believe his prosecution was politically motivated. They’ve begun preparations for a festive welcome, with signs bearing the ex-president’s photo on display in parts of Abidjan.

A supporter of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo takes photos with her smartphone at the Brussels international airport in Brussels, Thursday, June 17, 2021. The former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo is returning home to Ivory Coast for the first time in nearly a decade, after his acquittal on war crimes charges was upheld at the International Criminal Court earlier this year. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys) © Provided by Associated Press A supporter of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo takes photos with her smartphone at the Brussels international airport in Brussels, Thursday, June 17, 2021. The former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo is returning home to Ivory Coast for the first time in nearly a decade, after his acquittal on war crimes charges was upheld at the International Criminal Court earlier this year. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

Gbagbo appears to be receiving a cautious welcome from Alassane Ouattara, his political rival who won the contested election and has been president ever since. After Gbagbo’s acquittal was upheld, Ouattara said the former president’s travel expenses, and those of his family, would be covered by the state.

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Gbagbo, the first ex - head of state to be tried by the International Criminal Court, has appealed a March decision that he must stay behind bars in a UN detention centre until the end of the legal process. Both Gbagbo, now 72, and his former militia leader Charles Ble Goude, 45, have pleaded not guilty to four charges of crimes against humanity including murder, rape, and persecution in five months of bloodshed that wracked the Ivory Coast . At least 26 residents of a Belgian retirement home have died since a visit by a volunteer dressed as Santa Claus who has since tested positive for Covid-19.

Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo has been released on bail to Belgium following his acquittal by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity, the court said Tuesday. Belgium said on Saturday that it had agreed in principle to host Gbagbo He must also surrender his travel documents, report to authorities weekly, avoid contacting witnesses in Ivory Coast and refrain from making public statements about the case, court documents said on Friday. The Belgian foreign minister, Didier Reynders, said on Saturday that there had been “a request from

A supporter of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo gestures as she gathers with others at the Brussels international airport in Brussels, Thursday, June 17, 2021. The former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo is returning home to Ivory Coast for the first time in nearly a decade, after his acquittal on war crimes charges was upheld at the International Criminal Court earlier this year. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys) © Provided by Associated Press A supporter of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo gestures as she gathers with others at the Brussels international airport in Brussels, Thursday, June 17, 2021. The former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo is returning home to Ivory Coast for the first time in nearly a decade, after his acquittal on war crimes charges was upheld at the International Criminal Court earlier this year. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

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Ivory Coast's ex-president to return 10 years after arrest .
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to accept defeat in Ivory Coast's 2010 presidential election sparked months of violence that killed at least 3,000 people and brought the country to the brink of civil war. It's been more than a decade since his arrest inside an underground bunker at the presidential residence, much of it spent awaiting trial at The Hague on crimes against humanity charges. Now after his acquittal on all charges was upheld, Gbagbo's scheduled return to Ivory Coast on Thursday is galvanizing his supporters who long felt his prosecution was politically motivated.

usr: 1
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