The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Wednesday reversed [holding, PDF] the Trial Chamber’s “Decision on Laurent Gbagbo Detention,” thereby ordering continued detention until the Trial Chamber carries out a new review of his release. As the former Ivory Coast president, Gbagbo [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] has been detained since 2011 and currently faces charges for crimes against humanity. Gbagbo appealed the Trial Chamber’s decision to deny his request for release. The Appeals Chamber said the lower court failed to consider several factors before refusing to release Gbagbo:
The Trial Chamber erroneously considered that Mr Gbagbo’s age militated in favour of maintaining his detention. Furthermore, despite the presumption of innocence and Mr Gbagbo’s right not to be compelled to testify or to confess guilt, the Trial Chamber erroneously relied on the fact that he has denied responsibility for the crimes with which he is charged. It also failed to consider the duration of Mr Gbagbo’s detention and his state of health.
The court’s decision emphasized that it is not suggesting the Trial Chamber make a certain determination upon review, only that the Trial Chamber consider all factors before rendering a decision.
Gbagbo’s detention and turmoil [JURIST report] facing the Ivory Coast, stems from Gbagbo’s acts following defeat in his second presidential race to former prime minister Alassane Ouattara [BBC profile] . The EU recognized that Ouattara defeated Gbagbo, but Gbagbo refused to concede victory [JURIST report]. Gbagbo has been accused [JURIST report] of starting a civil war after losing the presidency, which resulted in 3,000 deaths and the displacement of one million people. Voters in the Ivory Coast successfully approved [JURIST report] a new constitution last year. In November, Oattara signed the constitution into law.