Belgium: Laurent Gbagbo’s Visa Extended for Three Months

Laurent Gbagbo’s temporary residence permit in Belgium has been extended until next August. The former Ivorian President will therefore remain in Belgium pending the continuation of the proceedings before the ICC.

Acquitted on January 15, 2019 by Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of crimes against humanity, Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé were released conditionally in February by the court’s Appeals Chamber.

On February 2, the former Ivorian president was allowed to stay in Brussels, Belgium, by local authorities who granted him a three-month visa. This residence permit expired in early May.

According to sources close to the former Ivorian president, Gbagbo’s temporary residence permit was renewed for another three months on Tuesday, May 14.

The information was confirmed by ICC spokesperson Fadi El Abdallah, who noted that, “The ICC Registry is in contact with the Belgian authorities on a regular basis on these issues.”

Gbagbo will therefore remain in Brussels pending the ICC judges’ written decision, which will not be known until September 2019. These written reasons are eagerly awaited by the Prosecutor’s Office who will decide later on whether to appeal or not.

It should be noted that Gbagbo, founder of the Ivorian People’s Front (FPI) is in favor of returning to Côte d’Ivoire.

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Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé were charged with four counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, and other inhumane acts, or – in the alternative – attempted murder and persecution stemming from post-electoral violence in Côte d’Ivoire between December 16, 2010 and April 12, 2011. On January 15, 2019 Gbagbo and Blé Goudé were acquitted of all crimes.

This summary comes from Observateur Citoyen, which offers monitoring and commentary on the ICC’s proceedings arising from the post-election violence that occurred in Cote d’Ivoire in 2010-2011. It has been translated into English for use on International Justice Monitor.

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