Laurent Gbagbo, former President of Cote d'Ivoire, has been acquitted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of war crime charges.

According to Reuters, Gbagbo's acquittal was announced at the court in The Hague in the Netherlands.

Gbagbo was accused of causing violence in Ivory Coast between December 2010 and April 2011 after he refused to accept defeat by his political rival, Alassane Ouattara.

He eventually was forced out of the presidency and slammed with charges, which led to his arrest by the ICC.

He faced four counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts during post-electoral violence.

Cuno Tarfusser, the presiding judge, said the prosecuting team failed to prove the accusations against 73-year-old Gbagbo and co-defendant Charles Blé Goudé, aged 46, a former political youth leader, stating that "there is no need for the defence to submit further evidence as the prosecutor has not satisfied the burden of proof".

Gbagbo and Goudé shared a hug at the court and are scheduled for release after procedural hearings.

Emmanuel Altit, lawyer for the defence team, said his client was “relieved and happy".

"He is happy to have put his faith in the justice process," he said. "It is too soon right now to comment on the future and where he will go, but you can imagine he is very attached to Ivory Coast."

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