Kenya refuses to give up Kenyatta records

2013-12-03 07:18
Uhuru Kenyatta. (AFP)

Uhuru Kenyatta. (AFP)

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The Hague - The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor on Monday accused Kenya of failing to hand over records which she said were "relevant to critical issues" in President Uhuru Kenyatta's crimes against humanity trial.

"The Office of the Prosecutor requests the Chamber to find that the Government of Kenya has failed to comply with the April 2012 request to provide financial and other records of the accused," Fatou Bensouda said in papers filed before the Hague-based court.

"All of its previous attempts to secure the records have been exhausted," she added.

Kenya's leader is set to go on trial on 5 February on charges of masterminding some of the deadly 2007-8 post-election violence that killed over 1 000 people and left several hundred thousand others displaced in the east African country.

Bensouda said prosecutors believed the documents "may shed light on the scope of the accused's conduct, including the allegation that he financed the crimes with which he is charged."

"For 19 months the OTP's repeated requests have been met with obfuscation and intransigence," Bensouda added, asking judges to now refer the matter to the court's oversight and legislative body, the Assembly of States Parties.

The move is the latest in a legal tug-of-war between the ICC and Kenya, which wants immunity from prosecution for sitting heads of state under the court's founding Rome Statute.

ICC warned

Last week the east African powerhouse warned that putting Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto on trial in The Hague could compromise security in the often volatile region.

Ruto's trial began on 10 September.

Both men have pledged their co-operation with the ICC, but both have also complained that the cases, which they are obliged to attend in the Netherlands, were hampering their running of the country.

Earlier this month, the UN Security Council rejected a draft resolution backed by African countries to suspend Kenyatta and Ruto's trials for a year.

African leaders frequently complain that the ICC discriminates against their continent.

The ICC has opened eight investigations since it was set up in 2003, all of them in Africa.

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