ICC orders review of former Ivorian president’s detention

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The Hague, July 20 (IANS) The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday ordered the trial chamber to review whether former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo should continue to be detained.

On March 10 this year, Trial Chamber I of the ICC decided that Gbagbo shall remain behind bars in a UN detention centre until the end of his trial, Xinhua reported.

Gbagbo appealed the decision.

The trial judges “should have considered the duration of time Mr Gbagbo has spent in detention … and it should have determined whether, all factors being considered, Mr Gbagbo’s detention continues to be reasonable”, said the Appeals Chamber in its ruling.

The 71-year-old Gbagbo, president of Cote d’Ivoire from 2000 to 2011, was transferred to the ICC’s detention unit in The Hague on November 30, 2011, following his arrest warrant on November 23 the same year.

In January 2016, the trial opened. Gbagbo denied all charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed against supporters of Alassane Ouattara, current President of Cote d’Ivoire, during the aftermath of the presidential elections in 2010 and 2011.

The trial chamber “erred in taking into account the fact that a person denies responsibility for the charges he faces, as a factor favouring detention” and “erred by considering Mr Gbagbo’s advanced age as a factor that increased his desire to abscond, rather than one that may potentially mitigate the possibility of absconding”, said the Appeals Chamber.

Therefore the appeals chamber ordered “the trial chamber to carry out a new review as to whether Mr Gbagbo should continue to be detained or should be released with or without conditions”.

In its decision, the Appeals Chamber emphasized that it is not suggesting what the outcome of the Trial Chamber’s review should be.

–IANS

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