Deputy President William Ruto’s State House ambitions may face more hurdles should the ghosts of the 2007/8 post-election violence return to haunt him.
The office of the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court has been relentlessly but quietly piecing together fresh information on the violence, which left more than 1,300 people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.
In the latest ICC annual report submitted to the United Nations General Assembly, it emerged that chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda continued to receive information related to the case in the past year.
Although details about the information remain confidential, investigations have been ongoing despite termination of the cases.
“The office of the prosecutor continued to receive information on the commission of crimes against humanity during the post-election violence of 2007—2008,” states part of the annual report on the ICC activities in 2017/18.
The report was submitted to UN General Assembly by ICC President Chile Eboe-Osuji who was on the bench that handled Mr Ruto’s case.
The case against the Deputy President and former radio journalist Joshua Sang, was vacated by a majority decision in April 2016 due to lack of incriminating evidence but the judges rejected an application of acquittal by the accused.
Earlier in March 2015, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s case was terminated in similar circumstances.
However, the judges stressed that the prosecution, which said the cases were weakened by witness interference and lack of support from the government, would be at liberty to revive them in future.
The report which was submitted during Mr Eboe-Osuji’s official mission to the seat of the UN in New York on Thursday, added that other investigations concerning witness interference are on.
Warrants of arrest had been issued against Mr Walter Barasa, Mr Paul Gicheru and Mr Philip Kipkoech, who the prosecution said convinced witnesses to withdraw from the case facing Mr Ruto.
According to the Rome Statute, interfering with witnesses is a criminal offence.
While addressing the UN General Assembly, Mr Eboe-Osuji called for more effort to support the court, which is often criticised over interference with the sovereignty of countries when carrying out its mandate.
African leaders have often accused the court of targeting people from the continent, a charge ICC denies.
“There are many reasons to insist that the mere existence of this permanent judicial mechanism for accountability truly serves as an inconvenient obstacle to the freewill of those inclined to engage,
even unwittingly, in conduct that creates the circumstances that conduce to crimes of atrocity. That modest value is enough of a return on the ICC investment,” he said.
Recently, the court was criticised by the US regarding investigations on crimes against humanity by American soldiers in Afghanistan, terming ICC as “fundamentally illegitimate”.
By Daily Nation