President Uhuru Kenyatta said Friday he received the news of the withdrawal of the International Criminal Court ( ICC) charges against him on Friday with excitement.
“I am excited by this news, which I have awaited ever since the day my name was announced to the world in connection with the case. I am also deeply relieved by this decision, which is overdue by six years,” Kenyatta said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
Kenyatta, whose charges at the world court have been ongoing along with his deputy William Ruto and journalist, Joshua Sang, said he had repeatedly declared his innocence to the people of Kenya and the whole world.
“I repeat this even now: as relates the incidents comprising the Kenyan cases at the ICC, my conscience is absolutely clear,” he said.
He said it has always been his position that the Kenyan cases at the ICC were rushed there without proper investigation or preparation, and sustained by a strong interest to stigmatize accused persons.
As an institution of the international community, he said, victims of serious crimes and people around the world had a right to expect the Court to dispense justice with integrity and without undue considerations.
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Kenyatta, Ruto and Sang, who are not subject to arrest warrants have pledged to continue voluntarily appearing before the ICC. Charges against the three Kenyans were confirmed on January 23, 2012. They face crimes against humanity charges for their alleged roles in murders, deportation or forcible transfer of population, and persecution during Kenya’s 2007-2008 postelection violence.
Charges against former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, ex-Police Commissioner Hussein Ali and ex-Industrialization Ministry Henry Kosgey were dropped.
Kenyatta said the government has sustained its efforts to restitute and reintegrate the victims of the post election violence (PEV) as best as it can.
“Our justice system continues to process the cases which have been instituted. I have supported these efforts because ultimately, the victims must get justice. The world may have failed them, but they will not be let down at home,” Kenyatta said.
He said the Prosecutor opted to selectively pursue cases in a blatantly biased manner that served vested interests and undermined justice.
“As a result, the Court has had to pay a steep reputational price, which it will continue to face unless a serious and systemic rethinking of the International Justice framework is undertaken,” he added.
MP Agostinho Neto disappointed by ICC decision
It is disappointing thatÂ the ICC judges have forced the prosecutor to withdraw Uhuru Kenyatta’s case. The short deadline to continue with the case or withdraw it all together was a violation of the victims rights.Â
Kenya under international law, under the Vienna law of treaties is bound to keep its obligations underÂ that very international law.
Uhuru Kenyatta’s case grew weak because the government either coerced witnesses to withdraw or refused to give documentation that the prosecutor was relying on in Uhuru Kenyattas case.Â
This goes counter to Kenya’s obligations underÂ the Rome Statute of cooperation with the court. The judges should have instead found against Kenya for none cooperation as opposed to forcing the Prosecutor to withdraw her case.
Kenya should have been shamed at the ICC state parties conference and other available international forum. The withdrawal of the case is going to encourage the culture of impunityÂ in Kenya and is a travesty of justice for the PEV victims.
Since the jubilee administration came to power, they have done nothing to show they are interested in justice for the PEV victims. Granted, there has been an attempt at compensation ofÂ some IDPs, but the IDP compensation was skewed and did not benefit all would be IDPs.
See Also: President Uhuru buoyant after ICC drops charges
The Truth justice and reconciliation report which would have provided Kenyans with a good way forward is gathering dust on the shelves and the only attempt at its implementation has been amendments to have favorable recommendations on behalf of the perpetrators of gross violations.Â This sort of scenario is both unacceptable and untenable.
Kenya needs explore ways in which the PEV victimsÂ andÂ other victims of human rights violations perpetrated by government
could find justice otherwise killing and destruction of property would be fashionable with each election.
Notable, the withdrawal of Uhuru Kenyatta’s case was greeted by jubilation in his support base, and verily so. Let’s assume that William Ruto and sangs case go to full trial and the two are acquitted, that will leave all Ocampo six free. The trials were never about the six.Â The trials were about those who lost life and limb in Post election violence of 2007.
All human beings lives are sacrosanct and the jubilee administration must do whatever to help realise justice for victims unless some lives are more equal than others.