ICC drops case against Muthaura | News | DW | 11.03.2013
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ICC drops case against Muthaura

The International Criminal Court has dropped all charges against Francis Muthaura, the co-accused of Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya's new president-elect. The decision could also alter the similar charges against Kenyatta.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has dropped its case against Francis Muthaura, the former civil servant of president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta. Muthaura and Kenyatta had been charged with orchestrating ethnic violence that killed 1,200 following the 2007 presidential election.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she would face multiple problems in convicting Muthuara, as several key witnesses had died and others were "too afraid to testify for the prosecution."

"We no longer believe there is sufficient evidence to prove the charges against Muthaura beyond reasonable doubt," she said.

However, Bensouda added that the decision to drop the charges would not have an impact on the case against Kenyatta. Yet, the prosecution of Muthaura and Kenyatta is based on a lot of the same evidence.

Kenyatta's lawyers said the dropped case against Muthaura justified their criticism of the prosecution.

The charges were "determined on false evidence, evidence that was concealed from the defence and the facts underlying the charges have been put utterly and fully in doubt," said Kenyatta's lawyer Steven Kay.

Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's founding president Jomo Kenyatta, was announced the winner of last week's presidential election after a glitch-filled counting process. Kenyatta's election running mate, and vice-president-elect, William Ruto faces similar charges in a different ICC case.

Kenyatta's trial is due to start in July.

hc/kms (Reuters, AP, dpa)