Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo is set to be released by the International Criminal Court, following an order by the ICC’s Appeal judges sitting on Friday, February 1.

In a unanimous decision by the five judges read by presiding judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, Gbagbo and co-accused Charles Ble Goude are “to be released to a state willing to accept them on its territories.”

They were acquitted of war crimes charges in mid-January 2019 but remained in detention as a result of objections and an appeal raised by the prosecution team.

Portions of an ICC statement read: “Today, 1st February 2019, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”) decided unanimously that conditions are to be imposed on Mr Laurent Gbagbo and Mr Charles Blé Goudé upon their release to a State willing to accept them on its territory and willing and able to enforce the conditions set by the Appeals Chamber.

“These conditions are imposed to protect the integrity of the process. A written Judgment setting out these conditions will be made available later today.

“The Appeals Chamber instructed the ICC Registrar, Mr Peter Lewis, to identify and enter into arrangements with States willing to accept Mr Gbagbo and/or Mr Blé Goudé on their territories and enforce the conditions.

“The ICC Registrar may also make appropriate and necessary interim arrangements regarding the release with conditions pending the conclusion of agreements with States.”