By The Hague Trials Kenya
Yesterday evening, all indications were that the prosecution was going to drop the case against Kenyatta, following unconfirmed allegations on social media channels.
“Rod Rastan, an ICC prosecutor representing Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has just informed the plenary that they will now file withdrawal proceedings against President Kenyatta for lack of sustainable evidence.”
That’s what Muranga Senator Kembi Gitura posted on his Facebook page yesterday, according to the Daily Nation. Ratsan disclosed the information during a meeting at the 8th Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians for the ICC in Rabat, Morocco, which Gitura and a delegation of Kenyan MPs attended.
And today, the rumor was confirmed by the prosecution’s notice of withdrawal of the charges against Kenyatta, which states that:
In light of the Trial Chamber’s 3 December 2014 “Decision on Prosecution’s application for a further adjournment”, the Prosecution withdraws the charges against Mr Kenyata.
The evidence has not improved to such an extent that Mr. Kenyata’s alleged criminal responsibility can be proven beyond reasonable doubt. For this reason, and in light of the Trial Chamber’s rejection of the Prosecution’s request for an adjournment until the Government of Kenya complies with its co-operation obligations under the Rome Statute, the Prosecution withdraws its charges.
As noted by the Trial Chamber, this withdrawal is without prejudice to the possibility of bringing new charges against Mr Kenyata “at a later date, based on the same or similar factual circumstances, should [the Prosecution] obtain sufficient evidence to support such a course of action”.
On 3 December 2014, the ICC judges in Kenyatta’s case forced the prosecution’s hand when it gave the prosecution one week to file a notice on the way forward indicating either: “its withdrawal of the charges”; or “that the evidentiary basis has improved to a degree which would justify proceeding to trial.”
Lead image: Tomas/Cartoon Movement