According to the ruling released by the ICC on Thursday, Judge Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi termed the ex-president for Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbo as ‘a big risk to be given a release’ taking into consideration his trial for crimes against humanity. “The gravity of the charges against Mr. Gbagbo, and the lengthy prison sentence that may ensue in the event of conviction, constitute an incentive for him to abscond,” said Judge Silvia. She also hinted that Gbagbo to some extent appeared to have some political intentions other than his claims of seeking for medical attention. She also pointed out a possibility of him having political contacts and funds to abscond. On May 1st Gbagbo’s lawyers made an attempt to file for a request for the “interim release” of the 67-year-old former President, who was transferred to The Hague in November 2011 to answer charges pressed against him.
After declining to accept defeat in the 2010 Presidential poll in November, Gbagbo now faces four counts of crimes against humanity which are said to have stemmed up from the post election violence due to his will to hold on to power. The crimes include: persecution, murder, rape, sexual violence among other inhumane acts which saw about 3,000 people lose their lives and scores injured five months after the unrest. His lawyers urged that he be released pending his trial at the Court citing his poor health condition. They also said that they would be able to properly prepare for his defence against the case outside the Court. However, this turned out to be something which the Prosecutors couldn’t permit at all. The Prosecutors said that Gbagbo continued to claim the presidency and would possibly want to return to power if released.Facts of the case reveled that Gbagbo refused to step down and accept defeat I favour of his long-time political rival Alassane Outtara, who emerged as the winner for the presidency seat despite Gbagbo’s attempt to rig the elections. It’s because of this that a state of unrest ensued in the country before Gbagbo was arrested by loyal forces of Outtara in April 2011, backed by the U.N and French military forces. His case is due in court in August this year for the charges-confirmation hearing and proceedings.
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