Former International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo (left) speaks with his successor Ms Fatou Bensouda after her swearing-in ceremony as the new chief prosecutor in The Hague, on June 15, 2012. PHOTO | AFP
State House had on Friday rebuked the paper for publishing on the collapse of the ICC case against President Kenyatta.
The New York Times is defending a story it published last week on former ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
In a statement Tuesday evening, the Times argued the article was both accurate and fair and would therefore not be corrected as demanded by State House.
“The Times makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of what we publish. Mr (James) Verini’s article was based on extensive interviews with dozens of sources in Kenya, The Hague and elsewhere and thousands of pages of court records, and was reviewed by editors and fact-checkers,” said the newspaper’s spokesman Jackson Chiappinelli.
“While The Times conscientiously corrects any factual errors that we learn of, we have not at this point found anything to correct in this article, and we continue to believe it is both accurate and fair.”
State House had on Friday rebuked the paper for publishing on the collapse of the ICC case against President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The article titled “the Prosecutor and the President” on the website and ““Trial and Error” in Print was published in the New York Time Magazine and featured former ICC Prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo, former Mungiki members and lawyers who gave views on why the case fell.
One of the running threads in the story was that Ocampo had underrated the ability of politicians to interfere with the cases, that the investigations had been second-rate and goes on to reveal that some of the Mungiki members had been prepared to testify against President Kenyatta.
"The New York Times continues its steady descent into the murky, rancid morass of gutter press and has abandoned all pretence of journalistic decency in pursuit of the Prosecutor's agenda," the statement from State House said.
“Relying on the fanciful accounts of unreliable individuals, discarding all attempts at balance and fairness, the Times plies a malicious, vindictive and unprofessional article on the ICC cases."
But the Times denied the charged, arguing it had made “numerous attempts” to seek comment from State House but were not responded to despite a promise to do so.
“Throughout this process, (President) Kenyatta’s representatives were informed of the subject of the article and did not at any point address it. A fact-checker for The Times Magazine also emailed Kenyatta’s chief spokesman and received no response,” the paper said.
The ICC had charged President Kenyatta with crimes against humanity relating to the post-election violence of 2008 in which 1113 people were killed and 600,000 others displaced.
But the Prosecutors dropped charges last year in January claiming they had not found enough evidence to take the case to trial.
Before that though, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had claimed witnesses had either been disappeared or forced to recant testimony.
(Editing by Joel Muinde)