Gbagbo going to Belgium

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Belgium will take in former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo following a request from the International Criminal Court freeing him from detention, Belgian news agency Belga said.

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

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

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