Insight into Uhuru Kenyatta's ICC trial


On 5 September, prosecutors at the ICC asked for the Kenyatta’s trial to be adjourned indefinitely with the ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda seeking another postponement.

“As far as the announcement by the prosecutor is concerned, it appears there is no evidence against the president of Kenya. It appears that whatever little evidence there was then that seems not to be available anymore and I think as a result of that it appears that the prosecutor has given up on this case,” Eric Mutua, chairman of Law Society of Kenya told CNBC Africa.

He added, “It matters a lot [that Bensouda has thrown in the towel] because it kind of gives prominence to the person who says this really was a political case. It is unfortunate that this is what it is turning out to be because it therefore strengthens the believe by some people that whether right or wrong, that indeed from the word go the prosecutor was driven by other considerations other than the rule of law and justice for the victims.”


The prosecution has often said that an adamant lack of government cooperation, and a concerted campaign of witness intimidation, are hindering them from prosecuting Kenyatta. Bensouda, was hoping the Kenyan authorities would hand her Kenyatta’s financial records, in hopes of supporting charges that he bankrolled ethnic violence.

“I have no doubt in my mind that the Kenyan government failed to cooperate and you will understand that this the government of the day and you will be seeking evidence and documentary evidence from the same government, chances are that the state will not make those diclosures,” Mutua said.

Kenyatta is allegedly criminally responsible as an indirect co-perpetrator pursuant to murder, deportation or forcible transfer, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts.

Despite arguing that Kenyatta and the Kenyan government are the winners as the ICC seem to be shelving the case against the president, Mutua said, “It is a blow to the fight against impunity for people like us who would have liked to see some kind of justice to the victims and also would have wanted a proper fight from the ICC in terms of fighting impunity.”

Judges had delayed the start of Kenyatta’s trial until 7 October in order to give Kenyan authorities more time to hand over evidence.

Kenyatta’s lawyers on Wednesday requested the ICC judges to drop charges against him stating that if Bensouda is granted yet another chance to adjourn Kenyatta’s case it will be a violation of his rights due to access to a fair trial and delayed justice.