Francis Muthaura: ICC drops case against accused Kenyan, why not Kenyatta

11 March Print

Francis Muthaura: ICC drops case against accused Kenyan, why not Kenyatta

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has dropped charges against Francis Muthaura, a co-accused of Kenya’s presidential election winner Uhuru Kenyatta, the prosecutor has said.

Fatou Bensouda said some witnesses were too scared to testify, while another recanted his statement.

Mr Muthaura was accused of fuelling violence after the 2007 election.

Mr Kenyatta, who won last week’s election, is due to be tried later this year on similar charges.

Mr Muthaura, a former cabinet secretary, was on the same side as Mr Kenyatta during the disputed 2007 election, following which more than 1,000 people were killed and about 600,000 were left homeless.

Mr Kenyatta is accused of organising attacks on members of ethnic groups seen as supporting Raila Odinga against President Mwai Kibaki. He denies the charges.

Ms Bensouda stressed that her decision had no relation to Mr Kenyatta’s election victory.

“Let me be absolutely clear on one point – this decision applies only to Mr Muthaura,” she said in a statement.

” It does not apply to any other case.”

Ms Bensouda said she dropped charges against Mr Muthaura for the following reasons:

  • several people who may have provided important evidence have died, while others were “too afraid” to testify for the prosecution;
  • the “disappointing fact” that Kenya’s government had failed to provide important evidence, and failed to facilitate access to witnesses; and
  • a key witness against Mr Muthaura “recanted a crucial part of his evidence” and admitted taking bribes.

“My decision today is based only on the specific facts of the case against Mr Muthaura, and not on any other consideration,” Ms Bensouda added.

“While we are all aware of political developments in Kenya, these have no influence, at all, on the decisions that I make.”

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