Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Collapse of Uhuru Kenyatta case worst moment for victims, says Bensouda

International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has termed the collapse of the case against Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta the worst moment for victims of crimes.
Ms Bensouda who was a guest on the ‘The Interview’ show on France 24 said she did not see the loss of the case against the Kenyan President as a humiliation to the court either, but an issue of evidence.
“I do not think it is a humiliation, the court is not there just to prosecute people, we move based on evidence. If we have the evidence we bring it before the judges,” she stated.
“If we lose the evidence as happened in the Kenyatta case I cannot, as a responsible prosecutor, stand before the judges and say we are going to proceed with the case,” she said.
She said in the interview with the Paris based France 24 that she would not hesitate to open fresh charges against Mr Kenyatta if her office receives new evidence that can enable it to bring back the case.
“Mr Kenyatta has not been acquitted by the court, it is not an acquittal it is a withdrawal of charges and this has to be clear,” she said.
“If there is new evidence or similar evidence that we can use to bring the case back it will be brought back,” she said on the news channel.
The ICC Prosecutor made it clear that the charges against Mr Kenyatta had only been withdrawn and that he had not been acquitted.
The Court announced its decision to formally drop charges against President Kenyatta three weeks ago but left the doors open for a case in future.
President Kenyatta was accused of crimes against humanity in connection with the 2007 post-election violence.
The Hague-based court withdrew charges against him in 2014 due to lack of supporting evidence.
His deputy William Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang still have a case going on at ICC.
Mr Ruto faces charges of being criminally responsible as an indirect co-perpetrator of crimes against humanity of murder, forcible transfer of population and persecution while Mr Sang is charged with having contributed to the commission of the same crimes against humanity.
Trial proceedings, however, slowed down last week after the 30th witness in the case declined to testify citing danger to his life and family.
In the interview with the France broadcaster, Ms Bensouda said the loss of the evidence against the Kenyan president was not a fault of her office.
“I would not say the loss of the case was the worst day for the court I would say worst day for the victims of this crimes,” she said.
Ms Bensouda insisted that there was a lot of interference with witnesses in the case and tampering of evidence which resulted in its collapse.

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