ICC drops murder, rape charges against Kenyan president

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says he is “vindicated” after the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor dropped a case against him alleging crimes against humanity.

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“I have repeatedly declared my innocence to the people of Kenya and the whole world,” Kenyatta said in a statement on Friday.

“I repeat this even now: as relates the incidents comprising the Kenyan cases at the ICC, my conscience is absolutely clear.”

Kenyatta said the case had badly damaged the reputation of the ICC.

“For the prosecutor to sustain an obviously deficient case for so long demonstrates beyond doubt the intensity of pressure exerted by improper interests to pollute and undermine the philosophy of international justice,” he said.

He accused ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of choosing “to selectively pursue cases in a blatantly biased manner that served vested interests” and undermined justice.

Kenyatta, 53, faced five charges including murder, rape and deportation for allegedly masterminding post-election violence in the east African country in 2007-08 in which more than 1200 people died and 600,000 were displaced.

The ICC pressed charges against Kenyatta and other Kenyans after Nairobi missed a series of agreed deadlines to prosecute alleged perpetrators of the violence.

But on Friday, Kenyatta charged that the ICC cases had in fact obstructed domestic justice for the thousands “killed, maimed, displaced, dispossessed and utterly traumatised”.

“There is no justice when human rights clubs and an international tribunal conspire to betray victims of human rights abuses and persecute the innocent,” he said, promising that victims would get justice.

“The victims in this case will get no satisfaction from the ICC, owing to the prosecutor’s decision to compromise a quest for justice in favour of political considerations.”

He also vowed to fight on until two remaining cases at the ICC against Kenyans, including one against his vice president, William Ruto, are dropped.