ICC prosecutors halt 13-year Kenya investigation that failed to produce any convictions
The International Criminal Court prosecutor’s office announced Monday it is halting its long-running investigation into deadly violence that broke out in Kenya after the African nation’s 2007 presidential election.
The decision was announced at a time when the prosecutor’s office is appealing for extra resources as it investigates ongoing conflicts including the war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war.
The Kenya investigation that opened in 2010 led to charges against six suspects, including the country’s current and former presidents, but ultimately did not yield any successful prosecutions, amid claims of witness intimidation and political interference. All charges against the suspects were either withdrawn, terminated or tossed out by pre-trial judges.
Among the suspects charged but never convicted were then-President Uhuru Kenyatta and then-Deputy President William Ruto.
Prosecutors also have charged three Kenyans with interfering with witnesses. One of those suspects died and two others remain at large. They could still be put on trial at the ICC if they are captured and sent to The Hague.
Post-election violence in 2007 and 2008 left more than 1,000 people dead and forced 600,000 from their homes in Kenya.
“After assessing all the information available to me at this time, I have decided to conclude the investigation phase,” ICC Deputy Prosecutor Nazhat Shameem Khan said in a statement.
The court’s prosecutor, Karim Khan, was previously Ruto’s defense lawyer at the ICC and recused himself from all Kenya investigations in 2021. Ruto’s trial was halted after prosecutors finished presenting their case and Khan successfully argued that the evidence was not strong enough.
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