Published On: Fri, Dec 5th, 2014

Kenya’s President Kenyatta buoyant after ICC drops charges

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said Friday he received the news of the withdrawal of the International Criminal Court (ICC) charges against him on Friday with excitement.

“I am excited by this news, which I have awaited ever since the day my name was announced to the world in connection with the case. I am also deeply relieved by this decision, which is overdue by six years,” Kenyatta said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

Kenyatta, whose charges at the world court have been ongoing along with his deputy William Ruto and journalist, Joshua Sang, said he had repeatedly declared his innocence to the people of Kenya and the whole world.

“I repeat this even now: as relates the incidents comprising the Kenyan cases at the ICC, my conscience is absolutely clear,” he said.

He said it has always been his position that the Kenyan cases at the ICC were rushed there without proper investigation or preparation, and sustained by a strong interest to stigmatize accused persons.

As an institution of the international community, he said, victims of serious crimes and people around the world had a right to expect the Court to dispense justice with integrity and without undue considerations.

Kenyatta, Ruto and Sang, who are not subject to arrest warrants have pledged to continue voluntarily appearing before the ICC. Charges against the three Kenyans were confirmed on January 23, 2012. They face crimes against humanity charges for their alleged roles in murders, deportation or forcible transfer of population, and persecution during Kenya’s 2007-2008 postelection violence.

Charges against former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, ex-Police Commissioner Hussein Ali and ex-Industrialization Ministry Henry Kosgey were dropped.

Kenyatta said the government has sustained its efforts to restitute and reintegrate the victims of the post election violence (PEV) as best as it can.

“Our justice system continues to process the cases which have been instituted. I have supported these efforts because ultimately, the victims must get justice. The world may have failed them, but they will not be let down at home,” Kenyatta said.

He said the Prosecutor opted to selectively pursue cases in a blatantly biased manner that served vested interests and undermined justice.

“As a result, the Court has had to pay a steep reputational price, which it will continue to face unless a serious and systemic rethinking of the International Justice framework is undertaken,” he added.

The Kenyan leader said there is no justice when human rights clubs and an international tribunal conspire to betray victims of human rights abuses and persecute the innocent, adding that the tragedy of this travesty is beyond words.

“The victims in this case will get no satisfaction from the ICC, owing to the Prosecutor’s decision to compromise a quest for justice in favor of political considerations,” Kenyatta said.

The country has in the recent past witnessed counter accusations over the authenticity of some of the anonymous prosecution witnesses used by the ICC during the confirmation of charges hearings against Kenyans accused of bearing the greatest responsibility over the infamous post election violence.

In dropping the charge, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda accused the Kenyan government of failing to furnish the court with several documents which it wants to use to show that President Kenyatta funded the attacks.

Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said the trials president Kenyatta and his deputy have been going through will only make them stronger to serve Kenyans.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed said the government will pursue the dropping of the charges against Ruto and Sang with the same “energy and passion.”

She expressed optimism that the cases facing Deputy President William Ruto and Journalist Joshua Sang would also be terminated.

“It is our hope and prayer that the two other Kenyan cases at the ICC will also be dropped in due course,” the Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary said.

The court did not, however, acquit the president of the charges as his lawyers had requested. War crimes prosecutors said fresh allegations could be filed if new evidence surfaces.

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Kenya’s President Kenyatta buoyant after ICC drops charges
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