23 April 2014

Kenya: Uhuru Wants Out in Barasa's Anti-ICC Case

Photo: Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta has filed an application in which he wants journalist Walter Barasa to stop dragging his name in a petition seeking to halt the Kenyan cases before the International Criminal Court (ICC). In the application filed on Wednesday by his lawyer Kennedy Ogeto, Kenyatta complains that his name is improperly enjoined in the petition.

"The named 1st interested party does not wish to participate in the proceedings herein and therefore is not an interested party as purported in the pleading ," Ogeto explained in the application filed in the High Court of Kenya. According to Ogeto, President Kenyatta does not want to be part of the petition and his inclusion is contrary to his consent.

He explained that President Kenyatta has been cooperating with the court and does not want his name dragged into a process that will interfere with his case before the ICC. "The named 1st interested party is currently voluntarily defending himself at the ICC and does not wish to litigate issues relating to his ICC cases before this court," he asserted.

He further argued that Barasa did not consult him when he included his name in the petition. President Kenyatta has asked the court to process the petition by Barasa but without his inclusion.

"The issues being raised in the petition can be and ought to be resolved by the court without the participation of the named 1st interested party. The issues being raised in the current proceedings have no bearing on the named 1st interested party's case at the ICC," Ogeto said.

Deputy President William Ruto has previously objected to Barasa's application, saying he did not want to be dragged into the former journalist's fight with the ICC since he voluntarily chose to cooperate with The Hague-based court.

Ruto had also said the court could proceed with the petition and make a decision without his involvement. Barasa is wanted by the ICC over allegations of interference with witnesses. The ICC prosecution has claimed that Barasa bribed witnesses so that they would refuse to testify. The court has so far ruled that Barasa should be handed over to the ICC but he has an appeal pending.

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