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

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers 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.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid