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Uhuru Kenyatta allies criticise Fatou Bensouda as ICC holds special session on Ruto

Thursday January 22 2015

Wananchi cheer during the commissioning of the Outer Ring Road expansion project in Nairobi on January 22, 2015.

Wananchi cheer during the commissioning of the Outer Ring Road expansion project in Nairobi on January 22, 2015. President Uhuru Kenyatta was chief guest. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU NAITON MEDIA GROUP

EDWIN OKOTH
By EDWIN OKOTH
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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday steered clear of the ongoing debate sparked by the release of the allegations levelled against him by ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Tuesday.

However, his allies, including former Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu, raised the matter at a public rally that Mr Kenyatta addressed during Thursday’s launch of the building of roads to ease the flow of traffic in Nairobi.

Mr Waititu was named in the dossier released this week as among the political leaders who were involved in organising retaliatory attacks at the height of the 2007-2008 post-election violence.

On Thursday, Mr Waititu expressed fears that the ICC prosecutor could turn her attention to “smaller fish” after dropping the case against Mr Uhuru Kenyatta.

He urged the President to shield those named in Bensouda’s report from being victimised by the ICC.

“Mr President, ICC used fake evidence and failed to nail you. Now I hear they are coming for three more people including me. Please do not let us be taken by Bensouda after she failed to net you,” Mr Waititu pleaded during the rally held at Huruma in Nairobi.

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Mr Waititu vied for the governorship of Nairobi on a TNA ticket but lost. Mr Kenyatta is the leader of the party.

Embakasi West MP George Theuri also criticised the ICC, saying it had used faked evidence to target innocent Kenyan leaders.

He urged President Kenyatta to focus fully on promoting development after the court dropped the charges against him.

“We know they were all lies, and now that you have been set free, please let us concentrate on development,” he said.

Earlier, a clergyman who had offered prayers asked for God’s intervention on the ICC prosecutor’s alleged schemes against Kenyan leaders.

The case against Mr Kenyatta was dropped last month and only those against Deputy President William Ruto, and his co-accused, radio presenter Joshua arap Sang, are still going on.

On Thursday, however, the ICC held a closed-door status conference to discuss the case following Wednesday’s claims by one witness that he and others gave false testimony in the case.

On Tuesday, President Kenyatta’s lawyer, Mr Steven Kay, said that his client would have been a not-guilty verdict if the case against him had gone to full trial.

“The prosecution was desperate to have a post-election violence case against the alleged Party of National Unity axis,” said Mr Kay in his report, published in the International Criminal Law Bureau portal.

“In order to ensure that Mr Kenyatta faced a trial, (the prosecution) failed to apply any of the demanded standards of professionalism.

On Thursday, members of Parliament allied to the President’s Jubilee Alliance — which brings together TNA and URP, whose leader is Mr Ruto — travelled to Naivasha for a retreat of the coalition’s leaders. Among the items on the agenda of the talks which start today is Kenya’s relationship with the ICC.