International Criminal Court (ICC) - The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Ms. Fatou Bensouda, Monday withdrew the charges against Kenya’s former Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura, who was among those accused of instigating the 2007 post-election violence.
PANA reports that Kenya’s President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta, Muthaura and former Police Chief Hussein Ali had appeared before the ICC last year to hear allegations that they were behind violence.
“I wish to inform you, that today (Monday) I filed a notice to the ICC Judges to withdraw charges against Mr. Francis Kirimi Muthaura. I have done so after carefully considering all the evidence available to me at this time,” Ms. Bensouda said in a statement made available to PANA in New York.
“it is my duty to proceed only when I believe that there is a reasonable prospect of conviction at trial. If not, then it is my responsibility as Prosecutor to take the decision to withdraw the
“This is an exceptional decision. I did not take it lightly, but I believe it is the right thing to do. I explained to the Judges the reasons for my decision, specifically, the severe challenges my Office has faced in our investigation of Mr. Muthaura,’’ she said.
The prosecutor also said several people who may have provided important evidence regarding Mr Muthaura’s actions have died, while others are too afraid to testify for the prosecution.
More disappointing, she said, is the fact that the Government of Kenya failed to provide her office with important evidence, and failed to facilitate its access to critical witnesses
who may have shed light on the Muthaura case.
“The fact is that we have decided to drop the key witness against Mr. Muthaura after this witness recanted a crucial part of his evidence, and admitted to us that he had accepted bribes.
“Let me be absolutely clear on one point and this decision applies only to Mr. Muthaura. It does not apply to any other case,’’ she added.
The post-election conflict in Kenya left more than 1,000 people dead and another 600,000 displaced.