NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 16 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has scheduled a status conference on Monday at 5.30pm Kenyan time to discuss the fate of President elect Uhuru Kenyatta’s case after withdrawal of charges against his co-accused former head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura.
During the conference the parties will discuss the impact of withdrawal of charges against Muthaura on the Kenyatta 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 15.00 (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 asserted.
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Thursday argued that though Muthaura’s charges were dropped, Kenyatta’s case has to proceed since their roles in the violence were different.
However, Kenyatta’s defence argued that the prosecution too 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 four which was part of the evidence 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 Kenya 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 three of them have been dropped.
The Trial Chamber is yet to make a ruling if his case should be referred back to the confirmation stage.
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.