His freedom and possible return home may shake up the 2020 presidential poll in francophone West Africa’s largest economy.
President Alassane Ouattara’s camp has said he may reconsider a decision not to run if long-time rivals Gbagbo and former president Henri Konan Bedie were to stand.
In the latest high-profile defeat for ICC prosecutors at the Hague, presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser said they failed to prove accusations against Gbagbo and co-defendant Charles Blé Goudé, a former political youth leader.
Gbagbo, 73, and Goudé, 46, hugged when the decision was announced. In custody for seven years after French troops flushed him out of a presidential bunker, Gbagbo could be freed as soon as today.