ICC 'won't drop charges' against Kenyatta

2013-03-21 08:11
Uhuru Kenyatta. (AFP)

Uhuru Kenyatta. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Paris - The International Criminal Court will not drop the crimes against humanity charges against Kenyan president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta, The Hague-based court's chief prosecutor said on Wednesday.

"We will not drop the charges," Fatou Bensouda told reporters in Paris, saying it was only a question of when, not if, he goes to trial.

Kenyatta, 51, stands accused of orchestrating deadly violence that followed disputed polls five years ago. He was named Kenya's new president in a closely-fought election this month, though his main rival has filed a legal challenge against the win.

Bensouda said she deplored the lack of co-operation from the Kenyan government in the ICC cases related to the east African country, which she said suffered from witness intimidation.

"Kenya is the most challenging situation our office has had to deal with," she said.

Lawyers for Kenyatta on Monday urged the ICC to dismiss the case against him after prosecutors last week dramatically dropped all charges against Kenyatta's co-accused after a key witness withdrew testimony.

It was the first time ICC prosecutors decided to drop a case since the world's first permanent independent war crimes court began operating in 2002.

Should the charges against Kenyatta stand, he will become the first-ever president to have to fly off to The Hague to face a trial that could last at least two years shortly after taking office.

Kenyatta, one of Africa's richest and most powerful men, was declared the president just over a week ago following the first elections after the African country's post-poll unrest five years ago in which ICC prosecutors say some 1 100 people were killed.

Criminal gang

Prosecutors suspect Kenyatta of having paid the Mungiki, a sect-like criminal gang notorious for beheading its victims, to lead reprisal attacks and defend the Kikuyu community when violence ripped through the country.

Kenyatta denies the allegations.

His trial is scheduled to begin in July and he has repeatedly vowed to co-operate with the legal proceedings.

The evidence against Kenyatta's co-accused, top civil servant Francis Muthaura, was critically undermined when a key prosecution witness, known as "OTP-4", recanted earlier testimony.

Lawyer Steven Kay on Monday said the five charges against Kenyatta, including rape and murder, should now also be reconsidered.

Because of the withdrawal of that witness "this matter has to go back for reconfirmation by the pre-trial chamber", Kay told the court, saying this witness' statement "is the backbone of the prosecution's case from the beginning to end".

"To a certain extent we have lost faith in the decision-making as we warned the pre-trial chamber of the quality of the evidence and we were ignored," Kay said.

More than 663 000 people were displaced in Kenya's Rift Valley five years ago after fights between rival supporters, prosecutors said, when politically motivated riots soon turned into ethnic killings, which in turn sparked further reprisals.

The clashes destroyed Kenya's image as a beacon of stability in the region, hurt its tourism industry and exposed long-simmering ethnic rifts among its population.

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  uhuru kenyatta  |  kenya  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

ONE DAY ONLY – 50% off 1000’s of toys

Get 50% of 1000’s off toys! Offer valid on selected toys. Shop now! T&C’s apply

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Mind power dominates and can help you to uncover things from a deeper level, but it can also create entanglements if you let your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.