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

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora