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ICC drops charges against Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto

The International Criminal Court has dismissed the trial against the Kenyan leader for lack of evidence. The two were accused of fomenting ethnic tensions leading to over 1,000 deaths after the 2007 elections.

Judges in the Hague said on Tuesday that there was no case for

William Ruto

(pictured above, left) and his co-accused broadcaster Joshua Sang. They had closed the case before the hearing began, saying prosecutors had failed to find enough incriminating evidence.

The presiding judge Chile Eboe-Usuji said in his written decision that "witness interference and political meddling" had possibly led to the lack of proof. His other colleague, Robert Fremr wrote that Ruto should have been acquitted, and Judge Olga Herrera Carbuccia said the trial should have proceeded until a verdict was reached.

However, the declaration of mistrial meant prosecutors could bring fresh charges in the future.

Kenia Gewalt nach den Wahlen im Dorf Rukmini in Eldoret nordwestlich von Nairobi

More than 1,000 people died in Eldoret in the violence after the 2007 elections

Kenyatta welcomes decision

In a speech on television on Tuesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta welcomed the ICC's decision saying it "brings to a close what has been a nightmare for my nation." He also said that Kenya was "fully back on focus to enhance our efforts towards nation-building, promoting peace and security."

Local television showed Kenyan crowds in Ruto's electoral area of Eldoret cheering after the announcement.

William Ruto and co-accused Joshua Sang were charged with murder deportation and persecution for their alleged roles in the 2007 violence, which killed over 1,000 people and forced 600,000 to flee their homes.

However, political pressure from Kenya and its African allies have led to the collapsing of several cases in the international court, including one against President Uhuru Kenyatta. At the time, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda criticized Kenya for blocking investigations and said it was "

a dark day for international criminal justice."

mg/jil (AP, Reuters)

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