Legal experts blame prosecutor for collapse of ICC cases

April 6, 2016 1:07 pm
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Legal experts have argued the fact that ICC Judges allowed defence teams to seek for an early termination of the case, meant they had identified ‘serious’ weaknesses that left doubts on the strength of the prosecutor’s evidence/FILE
Legal experts have argued the fact that ICC Judges allowed defence teams to seek for an early termination of the case, meant they had identified ‘serious’ weaknesses that left doubts on the strength of the prosecutor’s evidence/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 6 – Legal experts argue that the International Criminal Court (ICC) cases were destined to disintegrate an argument they blame on poor investigations and mismanagement by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP).

In their view, the case against Deputy President William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang should have been terminated right at the confirmation stage on basis of deficient evidence.

Some of them however blame it on allegations of witness interference which has been like a mantra of the OTP.

Whereas fingers have been pointed at both the OTP and the defence for the collapse of the cases, the experts believe they started on a weak foundation that was unlikely to secure a conviction leave alone standing a trial.

At the start of the two Kenyan cases at the ICC, former Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo named six Kenyans; President Uhuru Kenyatta, former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali, former Head of Civil Services Francis Muthaura (Kenya case two) and Deputy President William Ruto, former Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey and former radio presenter Joshua arap Sang (Kenya case one) as the people bearing the highest responsibility in the atrocities committed during the 2007/8 Post Election Violence (PEV) in Kenya.

The late Pre Trial Judge Hans-Peter Kaul in his dissenting opinion in the majority ruling that confirmed charges against the President Kenyatta, Ruto, Sang and Muthaura said the Kenyan situation had not met the ICC threshold.

The judge, who was also opposed to allowing the prosecutor to intervene in the Kenyan situation, questioned the reliability and credibility of the prosecution’s evidence to sustain its allegations against the suspects.
READ: Dissenting ICC judge tore into Ocampo’s facts

In Kenya case two, the trial did not take place whereas in case one, the trial was against two – Ruto and Sang – who were let off the hook before their case was called to defence.

It was the first time in the history of the court that has existed for the last 14 years that a case collapsed at the prosecutor’s level following a rare application of the motion of no-case-to-answer which was applied also for the very first time.

Legal experts have argued the fact that ICC Judges allowed defence teams to seek for an early termination of the case, meant they had identified ‘serious’ weaknesses that left doubts on the strength of the prosecutor’s evidence.

READ: Free at last – Ruto and Sang off the ICC hook

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