ICC prosecutor appeals acquittal of former Ivory Coast president
©Wikimedia (Stefan Meisel)
ICC prosecutor appeals acquittal of former Ivory Coast president

The International Criminal Court prosecutor submitted a Notice of Appeal Monday against the acquittal of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo and a youth minister on charges of fomenting post-election violence.

One of the grounds of appeal identified by the prosecution is that the trial chamber erred by acquitting Gbagbo and Blé Goudé in violation of the mandatory requirements of Article 74(5) of the Rome Statute, or alternatively erred in the exercise of its discretion in doing so.

The majority also erred, according to the prosecution, by acquitting the former president and the minister without properly articulating and consistently applying a clearly defined standard of proof and/or approach to assessing the sufficiency of the evidence.

The prosecutor requested a reversal of the trial chamber’s oral decision and entry of a declaration of mistrial.

Gbagbo lost his second presidential race to former prime minister Alassane Ouattara in 2010. The EU recognized that Ouattara defeated Gbagbo, but Gbagbo refused to concede. Gbagbo was accused 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 a new constitution in 2016, and Ouattara signed the constitution into law later that year.