June 9 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The former president of Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbo has filed a claim with the electoral commission to be able to register on the electoral lists three months from the local ones, from which he is excluded because he is deprived of his civil rights due to a 20-year sentence. prison for a “robbery” at the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) in 2011.
Gbagbo, who returned to the country in 2021 — nearly a decade after being arrested and extradited to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to stand trial for his responsibility in the civil war that broke out in 2010 — was pardoned last year by the current president, Alassane Ouattara, although he was not amnestied.
The former president was finally acquitted by the CFI of charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the civil war, unleashed after he refused to acknowledge his defeat at the polls against Ouattara, although the conviction against him for the robbery in the BCEAO continues to impact his political aspirations.
Thus, he has criticized that his name “does not appear on the electoral list on the grounds of conviction in a trial for theft in the BCEAO.” “I vigorously reject these accusations,” Gbagbo said after presenting his claim to the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), according to the Ivorian newspaper ‘Fraternité Matin’.
“I don’t know why I was tried. No person summoned me and, for there to be a process, the defendant must be summoned. A summons is sent to the place where he resides,” Gbagbo explained. “In addition, once there was a sentence, they did not send me the ruling,” he stated.
“I do not have any documents of this process, neither before nor after,” said Gbagbo, who has emphasized that “there are procedures to try a former president of the Republic”, as reported by the Ivorian portal news Abidjan.net.
Gbagbo, 78, was president of Côte d’Ivoire between October 2000 and April 2011, when he was forced from power after being arrested by forces loyal to Ouattara after months of deadly conflict. of about 3,000 people.
The former president spent nearly eight years in prison until the CFI acquitted him in January 2019 of the crimes charged against him, including murder, rape and persecution, a process in which he was tried together with his former collaborator Charles Blé Goudé, likewise exonerated by the court.
However, the CFI Prosecutor’s Office filed an appeal for the acquittal of Gbagbo -who had become the first former head of state to be tried by the court-, alleging that he hoped to demonstrate a series of “legal and procedural errors”. in the acquittal. Finally, he was acquitted in March 2021, after which the authorities returned his passport so that he could return to Côte d’Ivoire.