Githu praises ruling on recanted evidence

Attorney-General Githu Muigai addresses partakers during the Communications Authority (CA) of Kenya convention on online child protection at Safari park Hotel in Nairobi on December 15, 2015. He said on February 14, 2016 if the Rome Statute was open to the whims of the ICC prosecutor, it means fewer and fewer countries would be willing to be signatories. PHOTO | JAMES EKWAM | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The endorsement of the decision by the country’s legal adviser may signal a reversal of the country’s push to leave the ICC.

Attorney-General Githu Muigai on Sunday welcomed the ICC Appeals Chamber ruling that set aside the use of recanted evidence in the case against Deputy President William Ruto, saying it signalled renewed confidence in the Rome Statute.

“Clarification of the application of Rule 68 is important, not only in this case against the Deputy President, but very critical as regards the people who advise governments to ratify the Rome Statute,” he said.

He said if the Rome Statute was open to the whims of the ICC prosecutor, it means fewer and fewer countries would be willing to be signatories.

The endorsement of the decision by the country’s legal adviser may signal a reversal of the country’s push to leave the ICC, a position that was made clear by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the recent heads of states summit in Addis Ababa.

During the meeting, 34 African countries, save for Botswana, endorsed Kenya’s position.

“We always believed a retroactive application of Rule 68 would be a violation of the most fundamental tenets of international criminal justice,” said the AG.

HARD TO TELL

Meanwhile, the victims’ lawyer, Mr Wilfred Nderitu, said given the low threshold required for an accused to be put on his defence, the Trial Chamber could still rule that the Deputy President had a case to answer and see the case progressing to the next level.

“It is difficult to determine at this stage what the impact on the ‘no-case-to-answer’ Motions will be, but the prosecution’s position would have been stronger with the Rule 68 evidence included,” he said.

He said the ruling by the Appeal’s Chamber was a blow to the victims’ expectations.

Lawyer George Kegoro said the dismissal of the statements of the four witnesses recorded at the investigative stage, and the fifth one who went missing, compounds ongoing investigations by the ICC regarding claims of witness interference and bribing.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.