Three more witnesses have withdrawn in the case against Kenyan president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Kenya’s Capital FM reported on Friday (April 5th).
“Three of the 12 prosecution witnesses relied upon at confirmation retracted their willingness to testify after the confirmation hearing: witnesses two, nine and 10,” ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said.
Another of the 12, witness four, had already withdrawn his testimony under allegations of bribery and intimidation, leading the court to drop charges against Kenyatta’s co-accused, former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura.
The charges against Kenyatta are likely to stand as they were confirmed based on key testimony from key witnesses six, 11 and 12, Bensouda said. The prosecution had lined up a total of about 30 witnesses to testify against Kenyatta and Muthaura, but 12 have dropped out.
Bensouda also criticised Kenyan media’s coverage of the witnesses’ withdrawal saying Kenyans should allow justice to run its course. “The Office of the Prosecutor deplores the recent stream of sensationalist reports in the Kenyan media on the level of witness co-operation,” Bensouda’s office posted on its website.