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

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs