Top ICC prosecutor Closes case against Kenya

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has announced that it has decided to conclude the investigation phase into cases where six suspects were accused of crimes against humanity in the 2007 post-general election violence, one of them being President William Ruto.


A senior International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday announced that she was dropping all further investigations into crimes committed in Kenya relating to violence that erupted following elections in 2007.

The decision by the ICC’s deputy chief prosecutor Nazhat Shameen Khan ends a 13-year legal saga which involved senior Kenyan politicians.

In 2010, the Hague-based tribunal started probing post-election fighting in the eastern Africa nation in which prosecutors said 1,300 people died and some 600,000 others were left homeless.

Initially, six suspects faced charges of crimes against humanity, including murder and deportation.

The suspects included former and current Kenyan presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.

But former chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda withdrew the charges against Kenyatta in 2014 and in 2016 the case against Ruto was stopped too, after judges said the prosecution’s evidence was too weak.

The case against all six collapsed due to a lack of evidence.

Bensouda blamed a relentless campaign of victim and witness intimidation for making a trial impossible and prosecutors launched a new probe into witness intimidation and bribery.

Current chief prosecutor Karim Khan was Ruto’s defense lawyer at the time and recused himself from the Kenya investigations after taking over the job from Bensouda in 2021.

Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru handed himself over to the ICC in late 2020, but the witness bribery case against him was dropped last year after news that he had died.

“After receiving official confirmation of the death of Mr. Gicheru, the Trial Chamber terminated the proceedings. Mr. Barasa and Mr. Bett remain at large,” added the statement.

But the ICC’s deputy chief prosecutor Nazhat Shameen Khan on Monday said she was ending further investigations into the post-election violence Kenya.

“I have reached this decision after considering the specific facts and circumstances of this situation,” she said in a statement.

“Accordingly, the Office will not pursue additional cases into the alleged criminal responsibility of other persons,” Khan said.

Shameem Khan revealed that she has since informed the relevant authorities of the Republic of Kenya of her decision, adding that ICC would continue working with Kenya in relation to the two pending cases.

In parallel, the Office will continue to engage with Kenyan authorities, civil society organizations and relevant domestic actors to enhance cooperation and to identify common synergies between the Office and domestic actors.



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