ICC formally halts proceedings against Kenya’s president

ICC formally halts proceedings against Kenya’s president

HomeAfricaMore Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:2PM

The International Criminal Court has formally stopped legal proceedings against Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, three months after prosecutors dropped charges against him due to insufficient evidence.

Friday’s action by ICC judges was a formality as the ICC chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, had withdrawn the charges on December 5, 2014, arguing that Kenyan officials had impeded the progress of her investigation.

Prosecutor Bensouda stated in a document filed at the Hague-based court at that time, “The evidence has not improved to such an extent that Mr. Kenyatta’s alleged criminal responsibility can be proven beyond reasonable doubt.”

However, the chief prosecutor (pictured below) has said she would still have the right to file fresh charges upon finding enough evidence.

Prosecutors were looking for documents, including company records, bank statements, tax returns, phone records, to show a link between Kenyatta and the post-election violence which left 1,200 people dead and 600,000 displaced in the east African country in 2007-08.

The Kenyan president was indicted in 2011 for charges including murder, rape, persecution, deportation, and acting as an “indirect co-perpetrator” in the violence.

Kenyatta was the first sitting president to appear at the ICC despite Kenya’s earlier attempts to change the ICC rules so that heads of state would not have to attend its trials.

The efforts were part of a broader campaign to stop the cases against Kenyan political leaders.

The Kenyan leader has appeared at the ICC before, but not since he was elected president in March 2013.

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