Kenya: President Kenyatta receives heroic welcome after ICC appearance

posted in: Africa

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta received a heroic welcome back home Thursday after his appearance before the International Criminal Court (ICC), where prosecutors accused his government of erasing crucial sections of incriminating evidence from his telephone data.

The Kenyan President accused the Hague-based Court of testing his ability to comply with Court orders by summoning him before the Judges, saying it was an attempt to test the sovereignty of Kenya.

“They wanted to put Kenya to shame before the whole world,” the Kenyan President told a roadside rally as he drove from the airport, greeting residents of the capital, Nairobi, who cheered him on.

The ICC Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, told Judges during a hearing on the status of Kenyatta’s case that the Court was in possession of critical evidence linking him to the crimes against humanity, but they were insufficient to build a proper case against him.

Prosecutors said at least nine witnesses have implicated Kenyatta on the five counts of crimes against humanity, which include murder and other inhumane acts, but the evidence still remained inconclusive.

Prosecutors said the telephone conversations Kenyatta had with members of the Mungiki sect, the group accused of carrying out the attacks in Naivasha, 100 km outside Nairobi, lacks some elements.

The evidence is gathered based on telephone calls made to only five people. The telephone conversations, including records of calls to four members of parliament, do not have recordings of Kenyatta’s outgoing calls, which the Prosecutors say have been deleted.

The lack of the telephone data raises more questions than the prosecutors and the judges can answer. The prosecutors also said the suspected coordinators of the violence were in touch with Kenyatta 39 times just three days before the violence in Naivasha erupted.

Based on this data, the Prosecutors said they were unable to tell whether there was clear information on how the coordinators of the violence were to proceed. The prosecutors said they believe availability of additional data would reveal more connections to the violence.

Addressing supporters in Nairobi, President Kenyatta regretted that he appeared before the Judges for three hours without being allowed to make a statement, beating the logic of having him present in court.

“I was there for three hours without even uttering a word,” Kenyatta said.

He said mistakes may have been made in the past and corrections to those mistakes would be made but it was not clear the exact nature of the mistakes the Kenyan leader was referring to.

“We have issues we would like to correct as a country. We would like to become a better country,” he said, speaking in Swahili, the national language.