Former Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura yesterday described the ICC case against him as an "awful odyssey" that "broke my heart".
Muthaura, who was charged alongside President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta over the 2007-08 post-election violence had his case dropped by the ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Monday.
Muthaura has kept silent on the matter since December 15, 2010 when former prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo named him in a list of six suspects who bore the greatest responsibility for the PEV.
Yesterday, Muthaura said he and his family had endured "a very painful experience".
Bensouda withdrew the five counts of crimes against humanity charges against him saying saying she did not have enough evidence to convict him.
"Whilst on Monday the new prosecutor of the ICC withdrew the charges against me, and I am relieved more than I can say, I am not celebrating. The ICC case broke my heart.
"Not only because I, Francis Muthaura was charged, but much more so because I have seen justice abused and manhandled by those whose primary duty is to respect it and safeguard it at all costs," he said in a press statement.
Muthaura's lead lawyer Karim Khan and his legal team of Ken Ogeto, Essa Faal and Shymala Alagendra were by his side during yesterday's conference. His wife, Dr Patricia Muthaura, and other family members were also at his side.
Muthaura said although the case was of great interest nationally and internationally, it was he and his loved ones who had "lived through the nightmare."
"I thank God that we kept the faith in Him and in truthfulness of my cause. I am especially glad that my dear mother--who is 93 years old and my father in law who is 91 years of age have lived to see this day," he said.
He said he had never thought he would be a target of the ICC or any court because he had always lived his life under the law. He said he had during his term as Kenya's permanent representative to the UN supported the establishment of the ICC.
Muthaura said his time at the ICC had given him a unique insight into how the prosecution and the ICC "actually operate in practice." He said the court's case against him was 'manifestly baseless and unfair.'
"It is an injustice that charges were brought by the prosecutor. It is a tragedy that safeguards to prevent abuse of the ICC mechanism so clearly and so obviously failed," he said.
Muthaura's lead lawyer Khan said Bensouda did Muthaura no favor in dropping the charges against him. He said that is what any reasonable prosecutor would have done under the circumstances.
He dismissed as "baseless" Bensouda's claims that the Kenyan government offered very limited cooperation and that the accused bribed the witnesses to recant were baseless.
"Nothing can be further from the truth. This is smokescreen from the inescapable reality that the case collapsed from within. The rotten underbelly of this case is a lying witness, just one witness whom in the prosecutor's own words, not mine, was a liar," he said.
He said if it were true that the accused bribed the witnesses, a reasonable prosecutor would prosecute all those involved in the act. Khan asked civil society groups and all those who believed in the Hague process to also accept the Hague verdict on Muthaura and move on.
He said he could not blame Bensouda because she had taken "the mantle of the mess" from Ocampo. "There are lessons to be learned from all this. One is the proclivity to quick investigations to catch up media headlines and the win-at-all-cost attitudes associated with her predecessor's era," Khan said referring to Ocampo.
Asked if he was considering seeking compensation from the court on behalf of Muthaura, Khan said it was too early to make such a determination: "We have not made up our mind on this," he said.
Muthaura asked the prosecutor to be fair in her investigations and pursuit of truth. He thanked President Kibaki for standing by him throughout his time at the ICC.
Khan said Muthaura will get on with his private life after the "awful turmoil" that has characterized him in the last two and half years. "I think the best thing is to watch this space. Ambassador just had a heart operation before the 2010 announcement which has since put an enormous strain on him. He needs to spend time with himself and family," Khan said.
Muthaura also congratulated his former co-accused at the ICC-- Uhuru and William Ruto for winning the presidency and deputy presidency positions in the recently concluded election.