ICC prosecutors had reportedly presented evidence that crimes occurred, but could not link these directly to Gbagbo.
Gbagbo’s defence team had argued that ICC prosecutors have failed to present evidence supporting the charges.
His lawyers asked for his acquittal on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the post-election violence and civil war, from December 2010 to April 2011, after his refusal to accept the election victory of Alassane Ouattara.
Alternately, with the trial having gone nearly half way, according to one report, Gbagbo’s lawyers also wanted him released provisionally, should he not be acquitted, while awaiting the outcome.
A “provisional release can be granted if the judges are satisfied the suspect will return for trial, and not obstruct or endanger the court’s work”.
It would be recalled that Gbagbo, 73, has been in custody since 2011 in The Hague, and along with Charles Blé Goudé, a youth leader who supported Gbarbo, has been on trial since 2016.