International Criminal Court judges on Tuesday acquitted former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo of all war crimes charges and ordered his immediate release.
Presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser said that prosecutors failed to prove their case and ordered the immediate release of the 7 year old Gbagbo and co-defendant Charles Blé Goudé, a close ally and former political youth leader.
“The chamber by majority hereby decides that the prosecution has failed to satisfy the burden of proof to the requisite standard,”
The pair each faced four charges of crimes against humanity over the 2010-2011 bloodshed in which around 3,000 people were killed.
Gbagbo was the first former head of state to stand trial at the ICC. Gbagbo, 73, and Goudé, had been on trial since 2016 for war crimes allegedly committed under Gbagbo’s leadership.