A person leaves the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Jan. 16, 2019.
A person leaves the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Jan. 16, 2019.

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court say  they will appeal Tuesday's surprise acquittal of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo of crimes against humanity in connection with the deadly violence after his loss in the 2010 presidential elections.

The three-judge panel ordered the immediate release of Gbagbo and Charles Ble Goude, his close aide and the country's former youth minister, but suspended the order until Wednesday to give the prosecution time to file an appeal.

Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo greets his legal team as he enters the courtroom of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Jan. 15, 2019, where judges acquitted Gbagbo and ex-government minister Charles Ble Goude for
Jubilation Among Gbagbo Supporters, but Rights Groups Lament Justice not Served
In a stunning decision Tuesday, the International Criminal Court acquitted former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo of war crimes charges. The ruling amounts to another major setback for ICC prosecutors in the first case against a former head of state at the Hague-based tribunal.  The ruling comes amid growing doubts about the effectiveness of the ICC as a court of last resort' against the world's most heinous offenses. Gbagbo looked blank as he listened to the verdict of his acquittal at the…

In its notice to the court, the prosecutors urged the judges to place strict conditions on Gbagbo's and Ble Goude's release, citing a fear that they may flee the court's jurisdiction if the appeal was successful.

More than 3,000 people were killed in late 2010 and early 2011 when Gbagbo refused to accept his defeat by Alassane Outtara, his bitter rival and current president. Presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser said the majority of the judges had determined there was no evidence that Gbagbo and Ble Goude had concocted a “common plan” to push their supporters towards violence.

Tuesday’s verdict was the latest setback for prosecutions of accused war criminals at The Hague.

L'ancien vice-président congolais Jean-Pierre Bemba a été acquitté en appel des crimes de guerre et des crimes contre l'humanité commis en Centrafrique, à la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), La Haye, 8 juin 2018. (Twitter/CPI)
ICC Orders Release of Congo's Former VP Bemba
The International Criminal Court ruled Tuesday that former Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba be released immediately, following his stunning acquittal last week by appeals court judges at the Hague-based tribunal.

Ex-Congolese Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba was acquitted last year of war crimes allegedly committed by his militia in neighboring Central African Republic, after his initial verdict was overturned. Prosecutors were forced to drop charges against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2015 involving deadly violence following the 2007 presidential election.