Now Bensouda wants Uhuru case adjourned

President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a guard of honour mounted by the Kenya Defence Forces during the 2013 Jamhuri Day/50th Anniversary Celebrations held at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani. ICC Prosecutor has said she does not have sufficient evidence to against President Kenyatta for crimes against humanity at the international crimes court. PHOTO | NATION

What you need to know:

  • Several other witnesses who had been lined up against Mr Kenyatta have withdrawn their testimonies citing various reasons, further weakening the prosecutor’s case.
  • President Kenyatta is accused of murder, deportation or forcible transfer, rape, and persecution at the court.
  • Mr Ruto has already made requests for excusal from attending the proceedings in line with recent amendments to procedure approved at the just concluded Assembly of State Parties conference.

The prosecutor does not have sufficient evidence to try President Kenyatta for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

Ms Fatou Bensouda is now asking judges to adjourn the case, which was to be heard from February 5 next year, to allow her to try and gather fresh evidence.

She will only continue with the case once she is satisfied that the new evidence will be enough to support the case, she said.

In a statement last night, Ms Bensouda said: “I have come to the conclusion that currently the case against Mr Kenyatta does not satisfy the high evidentiary standards required at trial.”

Ms Bensouda, who is also prosecuting Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Sang in another case, said her request for adjournment resulted from the withdrawal of an important witness.

“More recently, on December 4, 2013 a key second witness in the case confessed to giving false evidence regarding a critical event in the Prosecution’s case,” she said, adding the witness in question has now been withdrawn.

Several other witnesses who had been lined up against Mr Kenyatta have withdrawn their testimonies citing various reasons, further weakening the prosecutor’s case.

The ICC prosecutor intends to use time created by the requested adjournment, if allowed by the judges, to strengthen the case against Mr Kenyatta.

“I therefore need time to complete efforts to obtain additional evidence, and to consider whether such evidence will enable my office to fully meet the evidentiary threshold required at trial,” Ms Bensouda said.

She defended the move to ask for the adjournment, saying her actions and decisions are strictly guided by the available evidence as required by the Rome Statute.

This comes as a major reprieve for President Kenyatta, who has been fighting for the postponement of the case, citing national engagements.

However, the time sought by Ms Bensouda was still unclear last night.

She, however, insisted that her office’s commitment to pursue justice for the victims of the 2007/08 post-election violence victims remained firm.

President Kenyatta is accused of murder, deportation or forcible transfer, rape, and persecution at the court.

His co-accused, former head of Public Service Francis Muthaura and former Police Commissioner Major (General) Hussein Ali, were all set free. (READ: Ocampo names Kenya chaos suspects)

Deputy President Ruto’s and former radio journalist Sang’s cases are scheduled to proceed on January 13.

Mr Ruto has already made requests for excusal from attending the proceedings in line with recent amendments to procedure approved at the just concluded Assembly of State Parties conference.

Former Cabinet minister Henry Kosgey, who was accused alongside Mr Ruto and Mr Sang, also had his case dropped.

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