10 July 2014

Kenyatta's Defence Team Tells ICC to Drop Case Again

Photo: Uhuru Kenyatta
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Lawyers representing Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta have renewed calls for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to drop charges of crimes against humanity against him, AFP reported Thursday (July 10th).

"We have reached a stage where there is no evidence" to support the charges, Kenyatta's lawyer Steven Kay told judges in The Hague on Wednesday.

"It is my submission at this stage to this court to dispose of this matter," Kay told the ICC, where Kenyatta faces five counts for his alleged role in deadly 2007-2008 post-election violence.

The court convened on Wednesday for a so-called status conference to check on the progress of Kenyatta's much-delayed trial, now scheduled to start on October 7th.

Prosecutors used the occasion to express their frustration with the Kenyan government, accusing it of failing to aid their investigation.

Kenyatta's defence team has asked the ICC to drop charges against its client on a number of occasions.

Judges postponed the trial in March in order to give the government time to look for financial documents related to the case against Kenyatta. This included company records, bank statements, records of land transfers, tax returns, phone records and foreign exchange records, which prosecutors hope will link Kenyatta to the deadly clashes.

In most cases the prosecution has "not received any such records," prosecutor Benjamin Gumpert said. Regarding Kenyatta's bank records, prosecutors did get statements, but wanted the Kenyan government's assurances that it "represented the totality of Mr Kenyatta's accounts."

Kenyan Attorney General Githu Muigai defended the government, saying all requested documents were provided "in good faith".

"But we neither have the resources, nor the technical ability or the legal framework to do fishing on the prosecutor's behalf," he said.

But Fergal Gaynor, a lawyer representing victims of the violence, accused the government of a "deliberate policy of obstruction".

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