MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – INTERNATIONAL Criminal Court (ICC) member countries should address the court’s finding of obstruction by Kenya in the case against President Uhuru Kenyatta, rights groups said.
An ICC trial chamber on Monday referred a finding of non-cooperation in the now-withdrawn case against Kenyatta to the court’s membership, known collectively as the Assembly of States Parties.
“The ICC has squarely called out Kenya’s breach of its obligations to the ICC,” said Elizabeth Evenson, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch.
“ICC member countries should make sure the message is heard in Nairobi that they will not turn a blind eye to the government’s obstruction of justice.”
ICC judges in 2012 had charged Kenyatta, then deputy prime minister and finance minister, with crimes against humanity for his alleged role in organising and financing murder, displacement, and rape during the violence that followed Kenya’s 2007/08 presidential election. As estimated 1 500 civilians were killed and 600 000 displaced.
Although the prosecutor withdrew charges against Kenyatta in December 2014, the issue of whether Kenya should be sanctioned for non-cooperation in the case remained pending.
Failure by Kenya’s government to provide records sought by the prosecution in the Kenyatta case occurred against a backdrop of hostile rhetoric from the government against the ICC proceedings.
– CAJ News