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Attorney Hopeful ICC Will Drop Charges Against Kenya Leader

Kenya's presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta (C) and his running mate William Ruto (2nd L) celebrate winning the presidential election with supporters after the official result was released in Nairobi, March 9, 2013.
The lead attorney for Kenya’s deputy president-elect, William Ruto, says he is confident the charges against his client at the International Criminal Court (ICC) will be dismissed.

Katwa Kigen insists the charges are based on false information designed to undermine the political future of the newly elected deputy president.

“We have always maintained that the case was founded on information that is not accurate [and] that was in many ways artificially designed,” said Kigen.

“We are also hopeful that being as diligent as she [Fatou Bensouda] has promised to be, she would realize also that the case against Ruto and against Joshua Sang are also founded on flimsy and contradictory, and information that cannot be clearly be deemed to be true, and that in the course of time she will also move forward to seek that the case be called off,” Kigen said.

His comments came after the ICC dropped charges against Francis Muthaura, the former head of Kenya’s civil service.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she withdrew charges against Muthaura because of what she termed the “severe challenges” her office faced.

Muthaura was one of four Kenyans charged with orchestrating violence that followed Kenya’s disputed presidential election in late 2007.

The ICC does, however, plan to move ahead with the charges of crimes against humanity against both president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto.

The ICC accuses the two leaders of playing a role in Kenya’s 2007-2008 post-election violence that left at about 1,300 dead and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes.

Kigen says his is happy Muthaura‘s ordeal is over.

“We are happy that the trouble that ambassador Muthaura has gone through has come to an end,” he said. “We are also hopeful that the same will be applied to our case and that in the course of time, we would be able to enjoy the same treatment that has been associated upon ambassador Muthaura.”

Some analysts had said Ruto could complicate matters for the ICC by refusing to cooperate with the Hague-based court. But Kigen says Ruto will continue to cooperate with the ICC in spite of his recent election victory.

“He has always maintained his will to cooperate and he has every intention of cooperating and I think that issue is moot. It is a fact that he wants to cooperate,” said Kigen.
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