By Niklas Jakobsson
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… the International Criminal Court kicked off three cases against two Kenyan politicians and one journalist. Years later, the case against the current president, Uhuru Kenyatta, crashed and burned while the case against Joseph Sang and William Ruto are coming to a close.
But the case against Deputy President Ruto is far from a slam-dunk. In fact, last week, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked to have previous statements made by hostile witnesses added to the record. It came short of an admission by the Office of the Prosecutor of not having enough evidence for a conviction.
So, will Bensouda’s last-ditch effort to have more evidence filed lead anywhere? The general consensus on social media doesn’t have high hopes for her attempts.
But Bensouda’s request to have evidence added again brings up the bigger issue of witness protection at the ICC.
After months of back-and-forth between the ICC and the government of Kenya, the Court seemed to be dealt a big blow when a story of alleged mistreatment of witnesses by the ICC hit the front pages. A witness who’d been relocated to the Democratic Republic of Congo claims the court issued false promises and him and his family have now been left out to dry.
A sentencing of Ruto, however likely that is, still worries Kenyans. But it’s not for the reasons we might think. A recent poll shows that Kenyans are apprehensive of political violence if the ICC convicts the VP.
The Kenyan cases have been running for years and have become a thorn in the side of the Court. As the remaining case is about to come to a close (although we don’t know exactly when) it will be a relief for some people and an upset for others.
- Will the prosecution be allowed to add the previous testimonies?
- Have the Kenyan cases become too much of a headache for the ICC?
- Do you think that either of the remaining Kenyans will be sentenced at the ICC?
Lead image: Kenyan Deputy President William Rutu and President Uhuru Kenyatta (Photo: AFP Photo/Presidential Press Service)
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