14 May 2014

Kenya: ICC Extends Deadline for Uhuru's Bank Records

The ICC judges have extended the deadline by which Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and the Kenya should report on the progress in accessing President Uhuru Kenyatta's records.

In a decision made on Monday, the judges said the report should be filed by May 23 and not May 15 as earlier instructed.

The judges however said the extension of the deadline does not impact the due date for the subsequent reports to be filed on a two monthly.

"The chamber considers it necessary to underline its direction to both the Prosecution and the Kenyan Government that cooperation is to be conducted in good faith and in an expeditious manner," the judges said.

This is the second time the deadline has been postponed at the request of the prosecutor. The first deadline was April 30.

Last Thursday, Bensouda told the judges that in light of information received from the Kenyan government, it was not possible for the two parties to meet within the time-frame anticipated.

"The prosecution further submitted that there will be no substantive further progress in the implementation of the decision until that time; and therefore requested an extension of the deadline," the judges said.

Bensouda is seeking to prove that Uhuru spent up to Sh50 million to finance the 2007-08 post-election violence.

She says this may be the last shot at continuing the case.

Bensouda sought the judges help in having Kenya provide Uhuru's bank records, MPesa transactions, property records and vehicles registered to him.

In February, prosecution lawyer Benjamin Gumpert said Uhuru's bank records "might demonstrate innocence or suggest it."

"We do not have sufficient evidence to show beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of Mr Kenyatta at this time. Investigative steps have not borne fruit and so prosecution says Kenya government has obstructed investigation," Gumpert said.

Last month, Uhuru lost a bid to have the case terminated and the judges ordered Kenya and the Prosecutor to cooperate in getting the documents.

They two parties are to report in the progress and outline any difficulties that are being faced in the process.

On April 10, Attorney General Githu Muigai wrote to the court stating that so far, it seems "it has become difficult" to implement the order due to the complexity of the information needed about Uhuru's wealth.

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