Victims fight on after charges against politicians dropped

kenya violenceFrom MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – VICTIMS of the 2007/08 post-violence elections in  Kenya can still seek justice even if the International Criminal Court’s  (ICC) dropping charges against Deputy President William Ruto and radio  presenter Joshua Arap Sang.

ICC’s Trial Chamber had declared the charges of crimes against humanity  against the duo as vacated.

However, it held that the charges were dropped “without prejudice to the  Prosecutor’s right to re-prosecute the case in the future.”

The decision may also be the subject of an appeal by the Office of the  Prosecutor.

“This decision could be seen as a major setback by thousands of victims who have waited so long for justice,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty  International’s Deputy Regional Director for Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

“However, this is not the end of the road for the victims. In fact,  victims should be able to seek justice for these crimes in the future as  the accused have not been acquitted, and can be re-prosecuted for these charges either by the ICC or domestically,” added Kagari.

Amnesty International therefore called for renewed efforts to ensure that  those accused of crimes under international law during the post-election violence are brought to justice, including through fair trials in Kenya’s  national courts.

It also welcomed the recognition by Judge Oboe Esoji of the role that  witness interference played in the case and calls for all responsible to be held accountable.

This is the first time the ICC has decided to vacate charges following the presentation of the Prosecution’s case, but it is not the first time cases  have been dropped amid allegations of witness interference and non-cooperation by the state.

Cases against four others charged with crimes against humanity in relation to the post-election violence in Kenya, including President Uhuru  Kenyatta, did not reach the trial stage.

The riots and clashes that followed Mwai Kibaki’s hurried inauguration as President led to more than 1 200 deaths and displaced more than 350 000  people from their homes.

CAJ News

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Posted by on Apr 6 2016. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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