ICC judges issue ultimatum in Kenyatta case

2014-12-04 05:15
President Uhuru Kenyatta. (PPS)

President Uhuru Kenyatta. (PPS)

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

The Hague - International Criminal Court judges on Wednesday ordered prosecutors to indicate within a week whether the trial of Kenya's president can start or if all charges against him should be dropped.

The order could signal the impending end of the case against President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is charged with involvement in deadly violence that erupted after his country's 2007 presidential elections.

Prosecutors have, in the past, acknowledged that their evidence is not strong enough to proceed to trial and have accused Kenyan authorities of failing to co-operate with their investigations.

Kenyatta is charged as an "indirect co-perpetrator" with murder, deportation, rape, persecution and inhumane acts allegedly carried out during violence that left more than 1 000 people dead after the 2007 election. Kenyatta insists he is innocent.

The case against him has been beset by problems and delays, with prosecution witnesses refusing to testify or recanting their statements.

The prosecution asked judges earlier this year to adjourn the case indefinitely until Kenya fully co-operates in its investigation. Judges on Wednesday rejected that request and instead ordered prosecutors to tell them if the case can go ahead now.

The court's prosecution office said in a written reaction that it was studying the decision.

Kenyatta would be the first sitting head of state to stand trial at the International Criminal Court, if his case goes ahead.

At a hearing in October, prosecution lawyer Benjamin Gumpert claimed Kenyan authorities were stymieing investigations and warned that scrapping the case would send a worrying message to other government leaders who could face prosecutions in the future.

Gumpert said such a decision would be interpreted as "the court saying that if a country sticks out for long enough obstructing proper inquiries being made by the prosecution ... then the case ... will go away."

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  uhuru kenyatta  |  netherlands  |  kenya  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.