February 2, 2019 / 11:25 AM / 15 days ago

Belgium to take in Ivory Coast ex-president Gbagbo - Belga

FILE PHOTO: Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo appears before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, January 15, 2019. Peter Dejong/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium will take in former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo following a request from the International Criminal Court which freed him from detention the previous day, Belgian news agency Belga said on Saturday.

The International Criminal Court contacted Belgium because of Gbagbo’s family ties in the country, Belga quoted a Belgian foreign ministry spokesman Karl Lagatie.

Gbagbo, who ruled Ivory Coast from 2000-2011, has spent seven years in custody in The Hague.

Gbagbo and co-defendant Charles Blé Goudé were acquitted of atrocities charges on Jan. 15 but had been kept in detention pending objections by prosecutors, who plan to appeal against the acquittal and sought guarantees that the men would return to court later if required.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee and Alissa de Carbonnel, editing by Louise Heavens

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