On 14 January, the General Court annulled the designation of Marcel Gossio in the EU’s sanctions list on the Ivory Coast. Gossio, a former Director General of the Port of Abidjan, was sanctioned for providing financial support to the regime of ex-President Laurent Gbagbo, embezzling public funds, and arms trafficking. The General Court annulled his designation because it found the Council had failed to prove to the required legal standard that Gossio continues to present a threat to the stability and security of the Ivory Coast.
In reaching this decision the General Court took into account recent developments, including (i) Gossio’s public position in favour of peace and national reconciliation and his engagement with the Ivory Coast’s democratically elected government, (ii) the choice of local authorities not to exercise the international warrant issued for Gossio’s arrest, and (iii) the annulment of restrictive measures imposed on Gossio by the Swiss authorities. It also took into account the Council’s failure to introduce new evidence.