ICC Drops War Crimes Case Against Top Kenya Politician

Francis Muthaura off the hook, but case against president-elect to continue

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Mar 11, 2013 9:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – International Criminal Court prosecutors are dropping their crimes against humanity case against Kenyan Cabinet secretary Francis Muthaura, it announced today, after a key witness admitted lying in his incriminating testimony. Muthaura was accused, along with now-president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta, of murder, rape, and more for allegedly helping to orchestrate the violence that broke out after Kenya's last election. "We do not feel that we have a reasonable prospect of conviction and therefore withdraw the charges against him," prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told judges.

Witnesses in the case have either "been killed or have died since those events and other witnesses refuse to speak with the prosecution." She stressed however, that Kenyatta isn't off the hook, saying that prosecutors have more evidence against him, and that his case should proceed. Muthaura, who was sitting in court, showed no emotion as Bensouda read her statement. The announcement is an unprecedented admission of failure by prosecutors and the first time in the 10-year-old court's history that they have dropped a case so close to trial.

Kenya's President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta, right, attends church service in Gatundu Catholic Church with his wife Margaret Kenyatta in his hometown of Gatundu, March 10, 2013.
Kenya's President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta, right, attends church service in Gatundu Catholic Church with his wife Margaret Kenyatta in his hometown of Gatundu, March 10, 2013.   (Khalil Senosi)
Kenya's President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the congregation after attending service at a church in his hometown of Gatundu, Kenya, March 10, 2013.
Kenya's President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the congregation after attending service at a church in his hometown of Gatundu, Kenya, March 10, 2013.   (Khalil Senosi)
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