Drop Kenyan cases, ICC told

What you need to know:

  • Residents called for a speedy conclusion of the case in which Mr Kenyatta faces charges of crimes against humanity.
  • Some of the resettled internally displaced persons called for a speedy trial so that the prevailing peace in the region was not compromised.
  • But other victims are demanding justice irrespective of whether cases against Mr Kenyatta and other suspects are dropped.

Anxiety gripped the North Rift Wednesday as the status conference on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s case went on at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Residents called for a speedy conclusion of the case in which Mr Kenyatta faces charges of crimes against humanity.

The North Rift was hard hit by the violence that claimed 1,133 lives and displaced more than 600,000 people.

“The ICC should terminate cases against Mr Kenyatta and other Kenyans linked as the court lacks evidence,” said a former Anglican Church of Kenya’s Eldoret Diocese bishop Thomas Kogo, adding: “This will also enhance peaceful co-existence among Kenyans.”

Bishop Kogo regretted that the ICC trials against Mr Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang had taken too long. “Let us forgive each other and reconcile instead of opening up old wounds.”

Lawyer Kipkemboi Ng’eno from Nandi County said the charges against Mr Kenyatta should be dropped because “the prosecution has failed to table evidence to sustain the case”.

WITNESSES DROPPED OUT

Witnesses in Mr Kenyatta’s case have either dropped out or turned hostile against the prosecution.

Some of the resettled internally displaced persons called for a speedy trial so that the prevailing peace in the region was not compromised.
But other victims are demanding justice irrespective of whether cases against Mr Kenyatta and other suspects are dropped.

“All that we require is a fair trial and the rule of law. It is unfortunate that some of the perpetrators of the violence, including those in the government, have not been prosecuted seven years after the chaos,” said Mr Reuben Kinyua from Burnt Forest.

A Directorate of Public Prosecutions’ report shows most files on post-election violence have either been completed or cases are pending in court.

Some 122 cases have been condemned and 84 concluded. There have been 18 acquittals while 16 cases are pending in court. Some of the cases did not start after complainants failed to show up.

Meanwhile, Cord MP Ababu Namwamba has described Mr Kenyatta’s move to hand over power, even though temporarily, to Deputy President William Ruto, as brilliant.

Mr Namwamba, the Budalang’i MP, said in Mombasa that Mr Kenyatta’s move safeguarded the sovereignty of the people of Kenya.

Mr Kenyatta handed over presidential powers to Mr Ruto in order to appear before The Hague judges as “Uhuru Kenyatta” and not “Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta”.

“This is a brilliant move and the opposition should not politicise it,” Mr Namwamba said. “The President was exercising a constitutional mandate and within the law,” he added.

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