For Online E-newspaper
Daily Nation : January 26th 2014
22 | Sunday Review SUNDAY NATION January 26, 2014 ICC TRIAL | Possible collapse of President Kenyatta’s ICC case stokes fears of rift in ruling coalition if DP Ruto remains in the dock Fatou Bensounda again last Thursday when the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that the trial of President Uhuru Kenyatta would not start as scheduled on February 5. How Uhuru acquittal can hurt Jubilee F BY JUSTUS WANGA @Justuswanga email@example.com ears that relations in the Jubilee Alliance could be strained came to the fore Instead, the ICC judges ruled there would be a status conference on the same day. Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has asked for adjournment of the case by three months so she can get more evidence but the defence wants the case terminated. February 5 is thus a very important date and the defence team will be making the case that since Ms Bensouda has no evidence, she should end the case. This comes with increasing chances that the President could be let off the hook, leaving Deputy President William Ruto in the ICC dock. Ahead of the General Election last year, Jubilee was accused of being a political marriage of convenience bringing together the two suspects of crimes against humanity. With signs that the case against President Kenyatta is fast collapsing unless the Office of the Prosecutor at the undertakes fresh investigations, the affiliate parties of the Alliance, The National Alliance party (TNA) and The United Republican Party (URP) are living anxiously. URP leaders like Kericho Senator Charles Keter and Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter recently accused some government officials who served under President Mwai Kibaki of “fixing” their man, Mr Ruto. The officials are now seen to be on Mr Kenyatta’s side. This forced the ruling duo to pitch tent in Rift Valley in a series of rallies to arrest the growing dissent last month. Although members of both parties are putting on a brave face, there are deep-seated concerns that letting Mr Kenyatta off the hook might spell doom for Jubilee if Mr Ruto remains at The Hague. The feeling is that both men should be acquitted. No impact But Mr Aden Duale, National Assembly Majority Leader, says: “There would be no impact,” if Mr Ruto’s case was to proceed even after that against the President was dropped. He says cases against the Deputy President might end in his favour even before Mr Kenyatta’s. There have been murmurs in the URP camp that TNA has not been as enthusiastic about Mr Ruto’s case compared to the vigour with which it rallied the African Union to stop proceedings against the President. Mr Duale dismisses the argu- ment saying, “This is not true. Those saying that should know that both politically and legally, we have invested more on the DP’s cases than the President’s and such an accusation would thus be malicious.” But even as Mr Duale insisted that all was well, political analyst Adams Oloo says there is bound to be tension within the ruling coalition should ICC judges decide to drop Mr Kenyatta’s charges. Dr Oloo says Jubilee was ‘‘ brought into existence by charges occasioned by the postelection violence which saw the two politicians find their way to the court and when this ceases to be the common denominator, they may not hold together. “The hip that joins these fel- lows is the cases at the ICC, and the moment this is out of the picture, they will struggle to hold together,” Dr Oloo says. But Prof Kithure Kindiki, Senate Majority Leader, denies Dr Oloo’s assertion. “ICC is not the principal governing our coalition to warrant the talk of it collapsing because of the said cases. The ICC is not the principal governing our coalition to warrant the talk of it collapsing” Prof Kithure Kindiki President and his Deputy have a clear developmental agenda for this country. ICC is just a little distraction that will soon be over,” he said. Prof Fredrick Wanyama, director of the School of Development and Strategic Studies at Maseno University, agrees with Dr Oloo. “Already, there is a sense of disquiet between URP and TNA and this (dropping cases facing the President) might be the final straw that broke the camel’s back,” he says. Kenya renews push for amendment of ICC treaty BY KEVIN J KELLEY New York/United Nations Kenya is renewing its ef- fort to have the International Criminal Court treaty amended in order to exempt sitting heads of state from prosecution, the country’s United Nations ambassador said on Friday. The recent move by ICC to postpone indefinitely proceedings against President Uhuru Kenyatta and to exempt Deputy President William Ruto from daily attendance of trial have not fully satisfied Kenya, Ambassador Macharia Kamau said. “Just because we have made significant progress on these matters does not mean we are home and dry,” he told the Nation. “Both cases on the president and the deputy remain at the ICC and we will not relent until both matters are resolved to the satisfaction of African heads of state, government and Kenyans.” Assembly President Tiina Intelmann is said to have indicated that the grouping of the ICC’s 122 member nations is likely to begin considering the proposed amendments next month.
October 13th 2013
January 27th 2014