The International Criminal Court has ruled on Wednesday that a new review be done on the release of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo while he remains in detention.
The decision by the Appeals Chamber reverses a decision by the court’s Trial Chamber I in March that ruled that Gbagbo should remain in detention.
The presiding judge Piotr Hofmański read the appeal judgement that directs the trial chamber to carry out a new review as to whether Gbagbo should continue to be detained or should be released, with or without conditions.
“Trial Chamber I should have considered the duration of time Mr Gbagbo has spent in detention alongside the risks being reviewed and it should have determined whether, all factors being considered, Mr Gbagbo’s detention continues to be reasonable,” he said.
The court explained that 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.”
Also, “the Trial Chamber 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”.
Laurent Gbagbo has been charged with crimes against humanity, murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence by the ICC.
The charges relate to the 2010-2011 post- election violence in the country, when Gbagbo refused to accept the November 10 presidential election victory of Alassane Ouattara.