, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 8 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecution has amended charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta to include killings through gunshots.
In the second updated Document Containing Charges (DCC) and updated Pre Trial brief released by the prosecution, Kenyatta’s charges now indicate that gunshots were also the cause of killings in Naivasha and Nakuru.
“The Mungiki and pro-Party of National Unity (PNU) youth were deployed to various parts of Nakuru, including Kaptembwa, Kwarhoda, Mwariki, Free Area and Kiti where they attacked the targeted civilians using various weapons, including guns, broken bottles, machetes, knives and petrol bombs. Some victims were beheaded, and in some instances, the Mungiki and pro-PNU youth shot their victims and then mutilated their bodies to conceal the gunshot wounds,” the new DCC indicates.
The Pre-Trial Chamber in March allowed the prosecution to amend Kenyatta’s charges to include the ‘gunshot’ charge.
Kenyatta is accused by the court of adopting and implementing a common plan to commit widespread attacks in or around Nakuru and Naivasha.
The prosecution has alleged that he established links with Mungiki members and funded them to carry out the attacks during the 2008-post election violence.
Pre-Trial Chamber judge Ekaterina Trendafilova in March granted ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda permission to add charges to state that “victims were also killed by gunshot in Naivasha.”
“Thus, from an evidentiary perspective, the prosecutor has fulfilled her statutory duty by presenting evidence which supports her allegation that victims were also killed by gunshot in Naivasha. Suffice to mention that the four witness statements presented by the prosecutor reveal that guns such as G3 rifles and more commonly AK47s were used in the killings of Luos in Naivasha. As the Appeals Chamber has stated in one of its early judgments,” Trendafilova said in her communication.
Trendafilova further explained that by amending the charges, no new charges were introduced since it was the Pre-Trial Chamber that dismissed the allegations by the prosecution that victims were shot using guns after the prosecution failed to provide evidence to prove it.
Though the prosecution is not allowed to do investigations after confirmation of charges according to the Rome Statute, the judge said under special circumstances it is allowed to continue with investigations even after charges are confirmed based on reasons given by the prosecutor in her request.
Trendafilova said based on complaints by the prosecution that the government of Kenya failed to cooperate with the court and was also unwilling to submit required information to help in the investigations, the Pre-Trial Chamber allowed the prosecution to continue with investigations after charges had already been confirmed.
She also based the approval on security challenges due to the alleged intimidation of victims and witnesses.
Another concern that allowed the prosecution to continue with investigations at such a stage was also the challenges that it faced in getting ‘insider witnesses to provide information to the court.’
The updated DCC released also had dropped charges against Kenyatta’s co-accused former head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura.
The DCC now indicates that Kenyatta was individually responsible for the killings, forcible displacement of people, rape, other inhumane acts and persecution in Naivasha and Nakuru.
Kenyatta was initially accused also alongside former Police Commissioner Ali Hussein whose charges were not confirmed.