ICC concerned over killing of potential Kenya witness
ICC concerned over killing of potential Kenya witness

[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Tuesday expressed concern [press release] over the killing of a man who was a potential witness in the trial of Deputy Kenyan President William Ruto [ICC materials; JURIST news archive]. Meshack Yebei was abducted late in December and found dead on January. ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel said that the ICC “stands ready to provide the local authorities with any assistance, if required, in their investigations.” Before the incident, Yebei had not been in contact with the prosecution in Ruto’s trial or on the witness list upon the date of his abduction. The ICC had in place security measures, which were offered to Yebei, but he declined the option of safe residency in a new location. The ICC believes that witnesses are vital to a fair trial and looks to continue to investigate the incident.

Last month the ICC dropped the charges [JURIST report] of murder, rape, persecution, deportation and other inhumane acts against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta [JURIST news archive]. This action came after an ICC trial chamber order [JURIST report] that required the prosecutor to either withdraw the charges or show sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. The prosecutor’s office ceased action for lack of evidentiary support, which was identified by chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda as a consequence of the Kenyan government’s refusal to cooperate and failure to provide important records of Kenyatta’s activities. ICC judges have not made a formal declaration of non-cooperation by the government, but they have expressed that the government’s interaction with the investigation did not comport to the standards of good faith set out under the ICC’s founding treaty.