Kenya denies not cooperating with ICC case against president

13th February 2014, Comments 0 comments

Kenya's attorney general on Thursday rejected accusations that Nairobi had failed to cooperate with International Criminal Court prosecutors' crimes against humanity case against President Uhuru Kenyatta.

"The impression has been created in this court and elsewhere that Kenya has not at any time extended cooperation," Attorney General Githu Muigai told a conference hearing on the troubled case at The Hague-based ICC.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," he said.

ICC prosecutors had asked judges to rule that Kenya had failed to help their investigation into the country's top politician.

Kenyatta, 52, is facing crimes against humanity charges for his alleged role in 2007-08 post-election violence that rocked the east African country, killing more than 1,000 people.

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has accused Nairobi of stone-walling the probe by refusing to hand over financial records which they say could shed light on Kenyatta's alleged financing of the deadly unrest.

Muigai on Thursday insisted that Nairobi had helped the investigation where it could but that Kenyan law prevented authorities handing over financial statements without a local court order.

"We are of the view that where we could cooperate with the prosecution without a court order, we have done so," Muigai added.

Thursday's hearing is the latest chapter in the vexed saga of the case against Kenyatta, who was supposed to have gone on trial last week.

Kenyatta's lawyers have told judges that the case against their client "has collapsed" after prosecutors admitted they no longer had enough evidence to put him in the dock.

In an apparent final push to bring the powerful African leader to trial, prosecutors have requested Nairobi hand over Kenyatta's financial statements.

His trial and that of his rival-turned-partner, Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto, who faces similar charges, have been dogged by problems and delays.

These include accusations of witness intimidation and witness withdrawals, false testimony from other witnesses, and Kenya's international campaign to have the trials put on hold.

Both Kenyatta and Ruto have maintained their innocence.

Both men have pledged their cooperation with the ICC, but both have also complained that the cases, parts of which they are obliged to attend in the Netherlands, were hampering their running of the country.

© 2014 AFP

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