NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 5 – International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said that she is still not ready to commence trial against President Uhuru Kenyatta due to insufficient evidence.
Bensouda says the status of her case remains the same as when she was granted an adjournment on March 31.
“From an evidentiary standpoint, the situation is the same as when the prosecution sought an adjournment of the trial date on December 19, 2013 — the available evidence is insufficient to prove Mr Uhuru Kenyatta’s alleged criminal responsibility beyond reasonable doubt,” she stated on Friday.
She also admits that in, “ordinary circumstances,” this would result in a withdrawal of charges.
The Prosecutor claims that the Kenyan government has, “failed fully to comply with its obligations to the court,” and she has recommended the continued adjournment of the case until such a time as the GoK complies with her revised request for records.
“It would be inappropriate for the prosecution to withdraw its charges against Mr Kenyatta before the GoK complies with the revised request. Doing so would undermine the purpose of the Chamber’s March 31 decision to ensure it fulfills its obligations. Second, the accused is the head of a government that has so far failed fully to comply with its obligations and under the Constitution of Kenya, is ultimately responsible for that failure,” she stated.
Trial Chamber V(B) had given Bensouda a week to state if she was ready to prosecute President Kenyatta ahead of the trial commencement date of October 7.
The Chamber had adjourned the trial on March 31 to give the GoK time to comply with Bensouda’s request for information after finding that it was in a position to supply the information she sought.
Attorney General Githu Muigai had submitted that she would require a Kenyan court order to compel the production of some of the records she sought including President Kenyatta’s bank records.
And although the Kenyan government had supplied her with some records, she stated on Friday that there wasn’t much for her to work with.
“In the five months since the prosecution submitted its April 8, 2014 request the GoK has produced a total of 73 pages of documentation. Some are not responsive to the revised request; even the responsive material is a fraction of the information sought,” she said.
President Kenyatta and the victims have until September 10 to file a response.