Posted by News Express | 6 December 2014 | 2,622 times
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has denounced the case against him at the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has now been dropped, calling it “obviously deficient” and a “travesty”.
Mr Kenyatta said he felt “vindicated” that crimes against humanity charges had been withdrawn.
He had been indicted in connection with post-election ethnic violence in Kenya in 2007-08, in which 1,200 people died.
Prosecutors said the Kenyan government had impeded their investigation.
They accused it of refusing to hand over documentary evidence vital to the case and said potential witnesses had been threatened and intimidated.
Mr Kenyatta said he was “excited” and “relieved” that the case was over.
“My conscience is absolutely clear,” he said, adding that his case had been “rushed there without proper investigation.”
“Just as the ICC failed me, it has also failed the victims of the 2007-2008 post-election violence,” Mr Kenyatta said.
“They were killed, maimed, displaced, dispossessed and utterly traumatised. I have been victimised, libelled and senselessly profiled by the same defective process.”
Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed said her government would try to have two other similar cases thrown out including one involving Deputy President William Ruto.
Mr Kenyatta said he had been victimised by the ICC and was relieved it was now over
“As they say, one case down, two more to go,” Mr Kenyatta said on Twitter.
He has denied inciting ethnic violence following the disputed 2007 elections in order to secure victory for then-President Mwai Kibaki.
Mr Kenyatta won Kenya’s presidential elections in 2013 with the backing of Mr Kibaki, rallying nationalist support by accusing the Dutch-based court of meddling in Kenya’s affairs.
He was the first head of state to appear before the court, after he was charged in 2012.
The prosecution repeatedly asked for more time to build its case, saying witnesses had been bribed and intimidated, and the Kenyan government had refused to hand over documents vital to the case.
On Wednesday, the ICC gave prosecutors a week to decide whether to pursue their case or withdraw charges, saying further delays would be “contrary to the interests of justice.”
But on Friday prosecutors said the evidence had “not improved to such an extent that Mr Kenyatta’s alleged criminal responsibility can be proven beyond reasonable doubt.”
The BBC’s Anna Holligan in The Hague said the decision was a huge blow to prosecutors.
Many observers had seen the case against Mr Kenyatta as the biggest test in the court’s history, she says.
The main prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, made plain her dismay at having to withdraw charges, saying there had been “a steady and relentless stream of false media reports... an unprecedented campaign on social media to expose the identity of protected witnesses [and] concerted and wide-ranging efforts to harass, intimidate and threaten individuals who would wish to be witnesses.”
She said the case had required the help of the Kenyan government, but this was “not provided”.
•Text courtesy of BBC. Photo shows President Uhuru Kenyatta during an ICC appearance.
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