Uhuru’s case to proceed, says Bensouda
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said that the withdrawal of charges against former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura has no legal impact on the case against President elect Uhuru Kenyatta.
This is likely to be the new battlefront between the two parties since Uhuru has insisted that his case cannot stand without that of Muthaura.
In a new application dated Wednesday, Benosuda maintained according to the Rome Statute the legal status of one alleged indirect co-perpetrator has no bearing on the guilt or innocence of another alleged co-perpetrator.
“First, Article 25(3) itself demonstrates that the legal status of one alleged indirect co-perpetrator has no bearing on the guilt or innocence of another alleged co-perpetrator,” Bensouda said.
She also maintained that a large number of people were members of the common plan who organised retaliatory attacks against perceived ODM supporters after the bungle 2007 polls.
However, there has never been a suggestion that the case cannot proceed unless these individuals are tried alongside Uhuru.
“The Prosecution alleges that a large number of people were members of the common plan, some of whom are identified in the Prosecution’s pre-trial brief,” said the Chief Prosecutor
“There has never been the suggestion that the case cannot proceed unless these individuals are tried alongside Mr Kenyatta,” she added.
Bensosuda also said that while both Muthaura and Kenyatta were allegedly linked together as members of the common plan, they played different roles.
She said that whereas Uhuru was allegedly in charge of provision of financial and logistical support to the direct perpetrators, Muthaura secured the support of the Mungiki and directed the latter to commit the crimes as well as providing institutional support for the execution of the crimes on behalf of the PNU Coalition.
The Chief Prosecutor was responding to instructions by the Presiding Judge Juniko Ozaki to file written submissions on the impact of the withdrawal on the charges against Muthaura on Uhuru’s case given that the accused are charged as indirect co-perpetrators.
But Uhuru’s defence counsels have also insisted that the two cases are intertwined since the Prosecution have consistently framed its case as a common plan involving the two.