Fatou Bensouda mulls over appeal against Uhuru Kenyatta excusal ruling
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said she is yet to decide whether to appeal the ruling that conditionally excused President Kenyatta.
- The judges said that Mr Kenyatta would have to be present in court during the opening and closing statements of all parties and participants
- Ms Bensouda’s office would not state if and when they planned to seek leave to appeal
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said she is yet to decide whether to appeal the ruling that conditionally excused President Kenyatta from attending all the sittings of his trial in The Hague.
Her office on Monday said they were studying the majority ruling by judges Chile Eboe-Osuji and Robert Fremr, as well as the dissenting opinion of Presiding Judge Kuniko Ozaki before making a decision.
Trial Chamber V(b) excused the suspect from being present throughout his trial. (VIDEO: ICC allows Uhuru to skip sessions)
However, the judges said that Mr Kenyatta would have to be present in court during the opening and closing statements of all parties and participants, hearings when victims present their views and concerns in person, the delivery of judgement in his case and any other attendance ordered by the chamber.
“If applicable, Mr Kenyatta is also required to be present during sentencing hearings, the delivery of sentencing, the entirety of victim impact hearings, as well as reparation hearings,” the majority ruling read. Judge Ozaki gave a dissenting opinion, criticising the majority ruling of going against the provisions of the Rome Statute.
“I find portions of the Majority decision reasoning to be repetitive, irrelevant to the question before the Chamber (including the use of selective quotations from various authorities) and/or, in some cases, incorrect,” Judge Ozaki said in her dissent.
STILL STUDYING DECISION
But on Monday, Ms Bensouda’s office would not state if and when they planned to seek leave to appeal.
“The Office of the Prosecutor is still studying the decision,” Ms Bensouda’s office said.
The prosecutor had appealed the earlier similar ruling that excused Deputy President William Ruto from continuous attendance. She also obtained the suspension of the ruling in the Ruto case, which ironically, was also granted by judges Osuji and Fremr.
The appeals chamber is yet to make its ruling on whether to uphold the trial chamber’s ruling.
The trial of Mr Kenyatta is scheduled to begin on November 12.