NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 – The suit filed by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s lawyer Ken Ogetto seeking to have the Head of State distanced from activist Walter Barasa’s case failed to take off on Thursday.
The case did not kick off because Justice Isaack Lenaola was away.
A notice at the Milimani Law Courts stated that “all matters scheduled for May 19 to 21 June will be heard on new dates”.
The President, through his lawyer had moved to court last month seeking to be distanced from a suit filed by Barasa to have the Kenyan cases in The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) halted.
The Head of State contends that his name is improperly enjoined in the petition.
“The named 1st interested party does not wish to participate in the proceedings herein and therefore is not an interested party as purported in the pleading,” Ogeto explained in the application filed in the High Court of Kenya.
In suit documents filed in court, President Kenyatta said he does not want to be part of the petition and “his inclusion is contrary to his consent.”
His lawyer explains in the suit papers that President Kenyatta has been cooperating with the court and does not want his name dragged into a process that will interfere with his case before the ICC.
“The named 1st interested party is currently voluntarily defending himself at the ICC and does not wish to litigate issues relating to his ICC cases before this court,” Ogetto asserted.
He further argued that Barasa did not consult him when he included his name in the petition. President Kenyatta has asked the court to process the petition by Barasa but without his inclusion.
“The issues being raised in the petition can be and ought to be resolved by the court without the participation of the named 1st interested party. The issues being raised in the current proceedings have no bearing on the named 1st interested party’s case at the ICC,” Ogeto said.
Deputy President William Ruto has previously objected to Barasa’s application, saying he did not want to be dragged into the former journalist’s fight with the ICC since he voluntarily chose to cooperate with The Hague-based court.
Ruto had also said the court could proceed with the petition and make a decision without his involvement.
Barasa is wanted by the ICC over allegations of interference with witnesses.
The ICC prosecution has claimed that Barasa bribed witnesses so that they would refuse to testify.
The High Court last week issued an arrest warrant against, but it is yet to be arrested and handed over to ICC.