ICC releases former president Laurent Gbagbo to Belgium

Belgium will host Gbagbo pending a possible appeal after he was cleared of crimes against humanity on January 15 [Peter Dejong/Reuters]

The International Criminal Court, (ICC) has released former Ivory Coast President, Laurent Gbagbo from prison.

The former president of Ivory Coast was released on bail to Belgium pending a possible prosecution appeal against his 15th of January acquittal.

“Mr Gbagbo is now released under conditions in Belgium,” an ICC spokeswoman said on Tuesday without giving further details.

The conditions include that Gbagbo will return to court if required for a possible prosecution appeal against the acquittal and that the 73-year-old surrenders his passport to Belgian authorities.

The delay in Gbagbo’s release was because prosecutors said that he should be kept in detention pending a possible appeal against his acquittal, arguing that he would not return to the court if there was a retrial.

Appeals judges rejected the prosecution argument on Friday after Belgium said it was ready to host him.