ICC drops Uhuru Kenyatta charges

BBC

Uhuru Kenyatta Uhuru Kenyatta, who was elected president last year, denied orchestrating violence after elections in 2007
Uhuru Kenyatta Uhuru Kenyatta, who was elected president last year, denied orchestrating violence after elections in 2007

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague have said they are withdrawing charges against Kenya’s leader Uhuru Kenyatta.

A statement said the evidence had “not improved to such an extent that Mr Kenyatta’s alleged criminal responsibility can be proven beyond reasonable doubt”.

President Kenyatta was indicted for crimes against humanity in connection with violence after elections in 2007.

He had denied the charges.

A sea of tents made out of plastic sheeting fills a camp for the displaced in the showground in Eldoret, Kenya (19 January 2008). About 600,000 people were forced to flee their homes in the post-election violence
A sea of tents made out of plastic sheeting fills a camp for the displaced in the showground in Eldoret, Kenya (19 January 2008). About 600,000 people were forced to flee their homes in the post-election violence

On Wednesday, the court had given prosecutors a week to decide whether to pursue their case or to drop charges.

Further delays in President Kenyatta’s case would be “contrary to the interests of justice”, it had said.

‘Bribed and intimidated’

Mr Kenyatta was the first head of state to appear before the court, after he was charged in 2012.

The prosecution repeatedly asked for more time to build its case, saying witnesses had been bribed and intimidated, and the Kenyan government had refused to hand over documents vital to the case.

Mr Kenyatta denied inciting ethnic violence following the disputed 2007 elections in order to secure victory for then-President Mwai Kibaki.

He said the ICC case was political.

Mr Kenyatta won presidential elections in 2013, with the backing of Mr Kibaki.

He used the case against him to rally nationalist support by accusing The Hague-based court of meddling in Kenya’s affairs.

Some 1,200 people were killed in the violence in 2007-8 and 600,000 were displaced.