ICC Judge declares Muthaura free man
Nairobi, Kenya: The criminal case against former Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura at the International Criminal Court ( ICC) has been formerly withdrawn.
The Trial Chamber V, allowed an application by the ICC prosecution to drop the charge of crimes against humanity against Muthaura, setting him free henceforth.
In a ruling, the judges Kuniko Ozaki, Christine Van den Wyngaert and Chile Eboe-Osuji ordered the Registrar of the court to notify the Kenya government that the case against Muthaura had been withdrawn. The Office of the Prosecutor announced its decision to withdrawal the charges during a status conference on March 11, this year.
The prosecution led by Ms Adesola Adeboyejo notified the Chamber of the intention, saying one of the key witnesses against Muthaura had been dropped after admitting to being bribed.
The prosecution further said other witnesses had had been killed while others had died of natural causes.
The prosecution submitted that the evidence did not support the charges anymore and they had no reasonable prospect of securing evidence that could sustain proof beyond reasonable doubt.
Muthaura’s lawyers then argued the court to accept the application right away and discharge him.
“In these circumstances, the Chamber, acting pursuant to Article 64(2) of the Statute, considers that the withdrawal of the charges against Mr Muthaura may be granted,” the court ruled. The Chamber ruled that the conditions made against Muthaura to attend proceedings made in March, 2011, would cease to be effective.
The Chamber, however, reminded him that protective measure taken for witnesses and victims of the PEV would continue being in force and the court had powers to step in if he contravened the regulations and interfered with the witnesses.
Similarly, the court ruled that the confidentiality of documents used in his case remained in force as per regulations.
The judges, however, said all pending applications by Muthaura were terminated.
Following the formal withdrawal, the question has shifted to arguments that the case against President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta should be dropped.