Uhuru to press for withdrawal of ICC case

March 18, 2013 6:33 am
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Lawyers for President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta also want his case dropped/FILE
Lawyers for President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta also want his case dropped/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 -The International Criminal Court (ICC) will on Monday hold a status conference to discuss the fate of President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta’s case after withdrawal of charges against his co-accused, Francis Muthaura.

During the conference, to be streamed on http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/tv at 5.30pm Kenyan time, the parties will discuss the impact of withdrawing charges against Muthaura to Kenyatta’s case, since both of them were jointly accused of planning Mungiki attacks in Nakuru and Naivasha during the 2008 post-election violence.

“A status conference shall be held on 18th March 2013 starting at 15:00hrs (Hague time). The main purpose of the status conference is to discuss the application filed by the defence for Kenyatta on February 5 and the consequences of the withdrawal of the charges against Muthaura for the case against Kenyatta,” Presiding Judge Kuniko Ozaki explained.

Last Thursday, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda argued that although Muthaura’s charges were dropped, Kenyatta’s case should proceed since their roles in the violence were different.

However, Kenyatta’s lawyers argued that the prosecution dropped witness number four and his evidence, hence his case should also not proceed.

His defence team in February asked the Trial Chamber to refer his case back to the Pre-Trial Chamber after it withdrew witness number four, whose evidence was used to confirm his case for trial.

The lawyers also argued that the prosecution witnesses were lying to the court and supported their argument with prosecution’s announcement that 13 witnesses had been dropped in both Kenyan cases.

During the confirmation of charges hearings all the defence teams alleged that the prosecution by then under the leadership of Luis Moreno Ocampo did shoddy investigations that framed their clients.

Initially, Ocampo named six suspects as the most responsible for the violence. So far charges against former Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey, former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali and most recently Muthaura have been dropped.

The Trial Chamber V is yet to make a ruling if Kenyatta’s case should be referred back to the confirmation stage.

It is also supposed to make its judgment if Muthaura’s charges will be dropped after the notice given by Bensouda seeking to withdraw all his charges.

Despite the arguments put forward by the defence teams for deputy president elect William Ruto, former Radio Personality Joshua arap Sang and Kenyatta, ICC has set trial dates in May and July.

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