NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 19 — The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday made its threat real after it referred the Government of Kenya to the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) over non-compliance in the terminated case against President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“Today, 19 September 2016, Trial Chamber V(B) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a decision finding that the Republic of Kenya had failed to comply with its obligations to cooperate with the ICC and referred the matter to the ASP to the Rome Statute which, according to the Trial Chamber,” Trial Chamber V (b) stated.
The judges said the ASP was, “best placed to address the lack of cooperation, in order to provide an incentive for the Kenyan Government to cooperate with the Court.”
According to the judges, Kenya’s failure to cooperate with the court during the President’s case affected the functions and powers of the court.
“Trial Chamber V(B) concluded today that the Republic of Kenya has failed to comply with its statutory obligations to consult with the Court and to take all reasonable steps to execute a request for cooperation from the Court, including by not providing clear, relevant and timely responses or taking any meaningful steps to compel production of requested information.”
It was the view of the judges that ASP’s action against Kenya would enhance cooperation during any active or future cases in the Kenyan situation.
Kenya has currently an active case against three Kenyans wanted by the court over alleged witness interference in the case against Deputy President William Ruto whose proceedings were terminated on April 5, 2016.
When ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda withdrew charges against the President on December 6, 2014, she blamed the government for failing to furnish her office with documents she required to establish his criminal liability over the 2007/8 Post Election Violence.
She asked the judges to refer Kenya to the ASP over what it termed as failed cooperation.
The judges however tasked her to explain why she had not raised the concerns over failed cooperation at earlier stages of the case other than the time she had decided to withdraw charges against him.
At the time the judges were also skeptical that information that would be received from the government would in any way strengthen the prosecution’s case against President Kenyatta.
Following Bensouda’s withdrawal of charges against President Kenyatta, Trial Chamber V (b) dropped his case on March 13, 2015 but Bensouda blamed it on failed cooperation and asked the judges to refer Kenya to the ASP.