News / Africa

ICC Prosecutor Seeks Delay in Kenyan President's Trial

Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Nov. 27, 2013.
Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Nov. 27, 2013.
VOA News
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has asked judges to delay the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta so she can obtain more evidence.
 
In a statement Thursday, Fatou Bensouda said that after the loss of two key witnesses, she believes the case against Kenyatta "does not satisfy" the high standards of evidence required at trial.
 
Bensouda said she needs time to obtain additional evidence, and to consider whether such evidence will be sufficient to prosecute the Kenyan president.
 
African nations have pressured the ICC to drop the cases against Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto. Both men are accused of orchestrating violence after Kenya's 2007 presidential election that left more than 1,100 people dead.
 
Ruto's trial began in September, while Kenyatta's trial is due to begin February 5.
 
Bensouda said one of the key witnesses in Kenyatta's case has indicated he is no longer willing to testify. She said a second key witness recently confessed to giving false evidence regarding a critical event in the prosecution's case.
 
She said her decision to seek a delay is "based solely on the specific facts of this case devoid of extraneous considerations."
 
Human Rights Watch says the prosecutor's announcement is deeply disturbing for all those "who look to the ICC to provide justice where there has been none in Kenya."
 
Human Rights Watch justice counsel Elizabeth Evenson says Bensouda's statement has come in the context of an "unprecedented climate of witness intimidation" that Kenya's government has failed to check. 
 
Evenson said Human Rights Watch hopes the prosecutor will take every appropriate step to continue her investigation.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jose from: Dubai
December 21, 2013 12:38 PM
OTP using kenyas civil societies messed up. They nailed those who they don't like from other tribal divide


by: Joseph Gathuru from: Ngong
December 21, 2013 5:25 AM
The court must be very careful. We all want justice for all including the victinms. However, justice will not be dispensed by trying the innocent.


by: maina H from: NBI
December 20, 2013 5:32 AM
The problem is that ICC prosecution framed innocent people using NGO intermediaries to procure witnesses> The NGOs themselves are operating in Kenya political climate which is sharply divided along tribal lines and ICC came in to fuel the competition for high office , not justice

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