Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bensouda: Dropping Muthaura charges will not alter Uhuru case

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda (right) and the court's director of Jurisdiction, Complementary and Cooperation Division Phakiso Mochochoko (left) field questions from IDPs at the Pipeline IDP Camp in Nakuru October 25, 2012. Ms Bensouda said the case against President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta will proceed March 14, 2013. FILE

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda (right) and the court's director of Jurisdiction, Complementary and Cooperation Division Phakiso Mochochoko (left) field questions from IDPs at the Pipeline IDP Camp in Nakuru October 25, 2012. Ms Bensouda said the case against President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta will proceed March 14, 2013. FILE  

By ANTHONY KARIUKI

The International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said the case against President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta will proceed.

Ms Bensouda said despite her office dropping its case against Mr Kenyatta's co-accused Francis Muthaura, the former will still stand trial as the two are alleged to have had different roles in the commission of the crimes.

"While Messrs Muthaura and Kenyatta were allegedly linked together as members of the common plan, they are alleged to have played different roles in that plan," she said in a court filing Wednesday.

"The distinct nature of their roles was summarised by the Pre-Trial Chamber in the following way: whereas Mr Kenyatta was allegedly “in charge of the provision of financial and logistical support to the direct perpetrators”, Mr Muthaura allegedly “secur[ed] the support of the Mungiki and direct[ed] the latter to commit the crimes in Nakuru and Naivasha”, as well as “provided institutional support for the execution of the crimes on behalf of the PNU Coalition."

"Because the two accused are alleged to have had different roles, the evidence against them is different, and any insufficiency of evidence with respect to Mr Muthaura’s particular role would not apply to Mr Kenyatta," said the prosecutor.

Ms Bensouda said Mr Kenyatta's case remains largely unchanged.

"Finally, the withdrawal of charges does not affect the Prosecution’s allegations regarding the nature of the common plan, Mr Kenyatta’s alleged role in the plan, or the evidence the Prosecution will rely upon to prove its case against him at trial. In sum, the Prosecution’s factual case against Mr Kenyatta is unaltered," she said.

On Monday, Ms Bensouda said the prosecution had decided to drop the charges facing Mr Muthaura.

"The witnesses that had conveyed evidence have been killed or died, others refuse to speak to the prosecutor," Bensouda said.

On Wednesday, Mr Muthaura spoke out about the pain and anguish that the charges had caused his family, especially his elderly parents.

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