9 May 2013

Kenya Seeks Termination of International Criminal Court Case Against Kenyatta, Ruto

Photo: Capital FM
Deputy President William Ruto

In a confidential letter dated May 2nd, Kenya reportedly asked the United Nations Security Council to scrap the international crimes against humanity trials for Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.

"What this delegation is asking for is not deferral," Kenya's ambassador to the United Nations Macharia Kamau wrote in a letter to the Council seen by AFP. "What this delegation is asking for is for the immediate termination of the case at The Hague."

While the Security Council can ask for a case to be deferred for a year, it does not have the authority to order the International Criminal Court (ICC) drop a case completely.

Kenya however appealed to "friendly nations to use their good offices and prevail upon the International Criminal Court to reconsider the continued process".

The letter warned that continuing with the trials would risk destabilising Kenya.

"Kenyans... spoke with a loud, clear, concise voice when they overwhelmingly elected Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto as president and deputy president," it said.

"It is obvious that their absence from the country may undermine the prevailing peace and any resultant insecurity may spill over to the neighbouring countries."

Meanwhile, the ICC prosecution amended the charges against Kenyatta to include the use of guns in attacks at Naivasha and Nakuru, Kenya's Capital FM reported Wednesday (May 8th).

"The Mungiki and pro-Party of National Unity (PNU) youth were deployed to various parts of Nakuru, including Kaptembwa, Kwarhoda, Mwariki, Free Area and Kiti where they attacked the targeted civilians using various weapons, including guns, broken bottles, machetes, knives and petrol bombs," the updated document containing the charges said. "Some victims were beheaded, and in some instances, the Mungiki and pro-PNU youth shot their victims and then mutilated their bodies to conceal the gunshot wounds."

In March, pre-trial chamber Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova granted ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda permission to amend the charges.

Trendafilova said that based on complaints by the prosecution that the government of Kenya failed to co-operate with the court, the chamber allowed the prosecution to continue with investigations after charges had been confirmed, which is generally prohibited.

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