Capital FM (Nairobi)

19 December 2013

Kenya: I No Longer Have Case Against Uhuru - Bensouda

Photo: Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy William Ruto during Kenya's Labour Day celebrations.

Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta has received an early gift for Christmas after the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor admitted that she has no evidence to sustain a trial against him.

Bensouda, who accuses Kenyatta of crimes against humanity following the 2007/08 bloodshed, through a statement said that she had no sufficient evidence to uphold the trial against the Kenyan Head of State at The Hague.

While seeking an adjournment of the case, Bensouda said that she needed time to obtain more proof that Kenyatta committed the atrocities she is accusing him of after her witnesses withdrew from the case.

“Having carefully considered my evidence and the impact of the two withdrawals, I have come to the conclusion that currently the case against Mr Kenyatta does not satisfy the high evidentiary standards required at trial,” she said on Thursday.

“I therefore need time to complete efforts to obtain additional evidence and to consider whether such evidence will enable my office to fully meet the evidentiary threshold required at trial.”

She also explained that one of main witnesses had admitted to giving false evidence against Kenyatta.

“On December 4, a key second witness in the case confessed to giving false evidence regarding a critical event in the Prosecution’s case. This witness has now been withdrawn from the Prosecution witness list,” she said.

Kenyatta had on October 10, this year asked the court to stop his pending trial arguing that the Prosecution had abused the integrity of the process by allowing shoddy witnesses onto its witnesses’ list.

In the 38-page suit paper, Kenyatta explained that he even had phone recordings to show that three prosecution witnesses had been working in cahoots with the Prosecution to subvert his justice.

He listed the witnesses as OTP-118, OTP-11 and OTP-12, saying that OTP-118 brought in 10 new prosecution witnesses and even offered them bribes to ensure that they testified against him.

“On 4 April 2013, the Defence was informed that (REDACTED), was acting as an intermediary and had introduced a number of Mungiki witnesses to the Prosecution. Five of these witnesses were: OTP-118, OTP-217, OTP-505, OTP-506, and OTP-510,” said Kenyatta in the application dated October 10, 2013.

“The defence was also informed that (REDACTED) and OTP-118 jointly acted as intermediaries and introduced the following Mungiki witnesses to the Prosecution: OTP-219, OTP-428, OTP-429, OTP-430, OTP-493, and OTP-494.”

OTP-11 and OTP-12 were on the other hand accused of interfering with Kenyatta’s collection of evidence in addition to attempting to swindle money from him so as to change their testimony against him.

Kenyatta’s lawyers said that witness OTP-12 sought to find out if he would be willing to part with Sh200 million so that he could recant his testimony.

Kenyatta’s trial was scheduled to start on February 5, 2014 after being adjourned for lack of prosecution witnesses.

He faces five counts- murder, deportation or forcible transfer, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts, which have not been specified.

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InFocus

Hague Admits Lack of Evidence Against Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy William Ruto during Kenya's Labour Day celebrations.

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says the case against the president "does not satisfy the high evidentiary standards required at trial". Read more »