News / Africa

Prosecutors Allege Obstruction Kenyan President's Trial

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta attends the opening ceremony of the 22nd Ordinary Session of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Jan. 30, 2014.
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta attends the opening ceremony of the 22nd Ordinary Session of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Jan. 30, 2014.
Lisa Bryant
The defense in the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says "the prosecution has realized that its case has collapsed."

Defense attorney Stephen Kay told the court on Wednesday, that a prosecution attempt to blame the Kenyan government for obstruction indicates prosecutors had no real case.

At issue are financial records that prosecutors say could tie Kenyatta to 2008 post-election violence that left more than 1,000 people dead.

Kenyatta, and his deputy, William Ruto, face charges of crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in orchestrating the violence.

Uhuru Kenyatta

  • Sworn in as Kenya's president in April, 2013
  • Former deputy prime minister, former finance minister
  • 51 years old, son of Kenya's first president
  • Facing crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court at The Hague in relation to violence following the 2007 election
  • Nominated to parliament in 2001
  • Appointed to run the Kenya Tourism Board in 1999
During Wednesday's court session, prosecution lawyer Benjamin Gumpert accused the defense of foot-dragging on turning over the records.  

"One of the allegations we make against Mr. Kenyatta is that he, personally, provided very large quantities of money, which were funneled down through his intermediaries and messengers and delivered in the form of cash to the perpetrators of the violence," said Gumpert. "The request for assistance which we made, was for Mr. Kenyatta's financial records, because, we suggest, if he did indeed make such financial contributions, there would likely be records of movement of funds at the relevant time."

However, Kay argued the Kenyan government had been right to withhold the records.

"The government of Kenya has maintained consistently that requests from the prosecution should come through the court, and by that they mean the trial chamber," he said.

The prosecution says those records might indicate his role in funding Kenya's post-electoral violence six years ago which killed more than 1,000 people.

Kenyatta's trial at the ICC has already been postponed several times -- and  the prosecution acknowledges it currently lacks sufficient evidence to move ahead, saying witnesses have been bribed and intimidated, and two key witnesses have dropped out.

The court's cases against Kenyatta and Ruto have fueled anger in Africa. Critics claim the court singles out Africans for its trials. For the ICC, going forward with the Kenyatta trial is important for its credibility, observers say, since a number of its other cases have collapsed.

As for the lawyer for Kenya's victims, Fergal Gaynor, dismissing the case against Kenyatta would dash hopes the ICC can deliver justice - in Kenya and elsewhere.

"The victims of this case have a legitimate expectation that this court will do all it can do to reveal the truth of the atrocities that engulfed Naivasha and Nukuru in January 2008. It would be unconscionable now to abandon the thousands of victims of this case at this state, before they have heard even a single day of trial."

Kenyatta's lawyers have asked the court to drop the charges against him. On Wednesday, the judges did not rule on requests from either side.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: George from: Chicago
February 05, 2014 8:49 PM
These victims need justice it's not about these folks only hundreds have loose their love ones everything needed to be done that justice will have its cause period thanks

by: DODO from: ABUJA
February 05, 2014 5:00 PM
I think its high time the ICC take a bow out of this unfocused trial. Democracy is all the people and what they want. The Kenyan people are not insane to have voted in Uhuru as president. I believe their votes should have proved as enough evidence that they believe in the innocence of their leader and his deputy. The voice of the people ICC should remember is always the voice of God. It time to give this promising young African leader a chance to carry out his vision and mission for his people who voted him as their President.

by: Geoffrey from: kenya
February 05, 2014 3:16 PM
time to shut down.too many inconsistencies.a compromised UNSC cannot guarantee justice.

by: max from: South Africa
February 05, 2014 2:22 PM
This is always the case with a high profile person.ICC has joined a cue of failures.If it can't protect the vulnerable then its offices be closed.If the ICC is failing to persecute a person with 1000 people on his involvement and whom it'll persecute. But if the victims were from Western Europe a court would have been set up quickly to speed the case. With an African , we just cry and wipe our tears .We'll never see justice done on the perpetrators of heyneous crimes in our community.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs