News / Europe

ICC Drops Case Against Kenyan Violence Suspect

Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura, left, in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court, The Hague, Netherlands, Sept. 21, 2011.
Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura, left, in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court, The Hague, Netherlands, Sept. 21, 2011.
Gabe Joselow
Charges against the former head of Kenya’s civil service have been dropped by the International Criminal Court, after a key witness admitted to being bribed. 

However, the case continues against President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and two other Kenyans who are charged with orchestrating post-election violence in early 2008.
ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she's withdrawing charges against Francis Muthaura because of what she termed the "severe challenges" her office faced.  

Muthaura was one of four Kenyans charged with orchestrating violence which followed Kenya’s disputed presidential election in late 2007.
Bensouda said the government of Kenya had failed to provide access to evidence and that potential witnesses had either died or were too afraid to assist the prosecution.
She said her office also lost faith in the credibility of an important witness.
“The fact that we have decided to drop a key witness against Mr. Muthaura, after this witness recanted a crucial part of his evidence, and admitted to us that he had accepted bribes,” Bensouda said.
Last month, Bensouda accused Kenyatta of bribing witnesses in the case. The president-elect denied the allegation and said witnesses were trying to extort money from him.
Kenyatta, who was elected president last week, faced trial alongside Muthaura, who was head of civil service at the time of the post-election violence.
Both were charged as indirect co-perpetrators of crimes against humanity, including murder, displacement, and rape.
Kenyatta’s running mate and future deputy, William Ruto, faces a separate trial at the ICC, along with former radio presenter Joshua arap Sang, for similar crimes.
Emphasizing that her decision applies only to Muthaura, Bensouda suggested Kenyatta and Ruto’s election would have no impact on their cases.
“While we are all aware of the political developments in Kenya, these have no influence at all on the decisions that I make as prosecutor of the International Criminal Court," Bensouda said. "As I have consistently underscored, the International Criminal Court is a judicial institution.”
More than 1,100 people were killed and 600,000 displaced during the inter-ethnic fighting that followed the 2007 vote.
The ICC charges became a major issue for Kenyatta during his campaign for the presidency in this month's election.
Some Western nations have said they will have to limit their contact with the future president.

You May Like

Video Obama: Action on Climate Change 'Economic, Security Imperative'

President spoke to reporters on sidelines of UN Climate Summit outside Paris, where leaders are working to agree on binding measures

IMF Bets on China’s Resolve to Reform

IMF announcement already raising questions about just how much Beijing is committed to such reforms

What Happened When I Landed in Antarctica

Refael Klein chronicles what it's like to visit one of the coldest, most desolate places on Earth

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Phineas Ncube
March 12, 2013 10:47 AM
Really, this is Africa, money, diamonds and power, are what count. What can the Hague and the UN do? little if anything. Limiting contact has not affected Zimbabwe - the West knows.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs