Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan blasts ICC decision to terminate President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto case.
In a piece written for Financial Times, Annan said that the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s decision not to detain the then accused leaders during evidence gathering process, endangered the chance of obtaining enough proofs to serve justice.
Mr Annan, who was appointed by the African Union to mediate Kenya’s post-election crisis of 2007-08, said this will pave a smooth ground for them to challenge the cases effectively, and enable them defeat justice.
Expressing his shock over the decision, Annan, who deeply believes Kenyan government used state resources to undermine the ICC, wrote.
“The president and vice president were the ones in the dock and so they put lots of effort and resources into fighting the case”.
Citing other suspects detained by ICC while their cases go on, the ex-secretary general said that the cases of Uhuru and Ruto would have been authentic if they were detained at the Scheveningen Dutch prison complex. This he says is because they would not have influenced the evidences against them.
The suspects Annan made reference to include the likes of former Congolese President Jean Pierre Bemba, former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo and former Liberia President Charles Taylor. The three are facing charges related to crimes against humanity.
The ICC dropped charges of crimes against humanity against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto. However the court says the witnesses faced severe intimidation during the case.
The cases are related to violence after 2007 elections which were marred by disagreement. Some 1,500 people were killed and 60,000 forced from their homes as ethnic clashes spread around the country.
A commission led by Judge Philip Waki was asked to look into the matter and establish those involved in the fight.
Waki later presented a report to former ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo. In the report, six names of suspects were handed over. Among them were Uhuru and Ruto.
The two leaders pleaded not guilty to the charges and accused the ICC of unfairly targeting African leaders.
Annan also in his writing, dismissed the allegation that the international court targeting Africa leaders, saying:
“Slobodan Milosevic and others convicted of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia had been tried in The Hague before the ICC was established.”
In response, Jubilee leaders slammed Annam’s remark describing it as an outrageous and ridiculous sentiments.
They said Annan’s comments confirmed that the former UK-based UN boss, who mediated talks in Kenya after the 2007/2008 post-election violence, was among international leaders who wanted President Kenyatta and Ruto jailed, even as the evidence were not substantial.