BY FRANCIS MUTHAURA
I believe in the rule of law.
I am convinced that “the law” is the only means by which humanity can co-exist and resolve disputes peacefully. Protection under the law and equality before the law is the only way by which the rights of the oppressed, the weak and the vulnerable can be safeguarded in the interests of advancement of civilization.
The rule of law helps ensure that the hope of tomorrow can be ensured by action and protection today.
On 15 December 2010, the previous prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno Ocampo publically announced that he had sought a summons against me and five other Kenyan nationals– the so called “Ocampo six”. Thus started my awful odyssey at the ICC which has given me a unique insight into how the Prosecution and the ICC which I supported, even prior to its creation, actually operates in practice.
As permanent representative of the Republic of Kenya to the United Nations, as Chair of the fourth Committee and Chair of the Charter Review Committee of the United Nations and as a diplomat, I always supported international law and worked to advance the cause of the ICC and helped bring it to a reality resulting in Kenya signing and ratifiying the Rome Statute.
I have always, at all times, complied with any and all conditions that the judges of the ICC required of me. I have attended court even when not required of me. I have submitted to the ICC even though the case against me was always baseless and unfair.
I never thought I would be a target of the ICC or any court because I have always lived my life under the law. Never did I think that false allegations uttered against me would be accepted as truth by the ICC.
Whilst on Monday, the new prosecutor of the ICC withdrew all charges against me, and I am relieved more than I can say, I am not celebrating. The ICC case broke my heart.
Not only because I, Francis Muthaura was charged, but much more so because I have seen justice abused and manhandled by those whose primary duty it was to respect it and safeguard it at all costs. It is an injustice that charges were brought by the Prosecutor.
It is a tragedy that safeguards to prevent abuse of the ICC mechanism so clearly and so obviously failed.
Throughout my years of public service, I have strived to discharge my responsibilities to this country honestly and to the best of my ability. I served this Republic of Kenya and its people sincerely. All its people. To me whether one is Kikuyu or Luo, Kalenjin or Masai, Embu, Somali, Kissi, Luhya or Meru – it makes no difference.
I love this country from North to South and from East to West and abhor divisive tribalism. I am in favour of everything and anything that unites us as one people, living at peace together under one flag.
We will stand or fall as one nation together. Not as 42 tribes. This has not only been my guiding principle throughout my public service, but this is also reflective of my private innermost thoughts.
I will leave it to my lead counsel, Karim Khan QC to speak about the ICC case, but I want to thank my friends, my family and my colleagues who have stood by me during some very dark hours. It has been a very painful experience for me, as well as those close to me.
These cases are, indeed, of interest nationally and internationally, but my loved ones and I have lived through this nightmare. I thank God that we have kept faith in Him and in the truthfulness of my cause.
I am especially glad that my dear mother – who is 93 years old and my father in law who is 91 years of age have lived to see this day.
I look forward to the judges of the ICC doing justice in all their remaining cases and pray that they are granted the wisdom and insight to separate truth from falsehoods – so that justice can be done and manifestly seen to be done.
I also wish to sincerely thank the many witnesses, most of whom have never met me – who freely gave their time and spoke to my legal team when requested.
No court can work without witnesses willing to speak the truth and I commend all witnesses of truth who allow justice to be done. Thank you.
The duty of a Prosecutor, of what is revered as the highest criminal court in the world-the ICC – is a very very important one. It affects lives and any errors can shatter whole families – irreparably.
To the Prosecutor I say, please be fair – please investigate your cases – please look for the truth and make sure that your staff live by this guiding principle.
Finally, I wish to thank His Excellency President Mwai Kibaki who has stood with me throughout this difficult time and who has given me so much strength and support. It was a singular privilege to serve under his Presidency.
I also extend my sincere congratulations to President elect, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President elect, His Excellency William Ruto, on their election victory and to offer my heartfelt congratulations to the great people of Kenya for conducting a peaceful and orderly election that is an example to the world of how democracy should work.
May God bless Kenya and all its people.
Ambassador Francis Kirimi Muthaura, EGH