Lawyers for Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to drop his trial for crimes against humanity, saying it was tainted with serious abuse of process. They say they have “substantial evidence of a serious, sustained and wide-ranging abuse on the process of the court” carried out by prosecution witnesses and a prosecution intermediary, and that “the Prosecution is presiding over an utterly corrupt and dishonest case”. The Defence argues that a fair trial is no longer possible and the case should be dropped, or at least an evidentiary hearing on the matter held before the trial. Kenyatta is charged with crimes against humanity linked to 2007-2008 post-election violence, and is scheduled to go on trial on November 12.
A group of international anti-rape campaigners led by six Nobel laureates on Thursday urged African leaders to support the ICC, saying it plays a vital role in bringing justice for rape survivors. The call came ahead of an extraordinary African Union summit starting Friday in Ethiopia which may consider a united pullout from the ICC. “As a court of last-resort, the ICC often represents the only opportunity rape survivors have to access justice,” the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict said in a letter. Signatories include Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
A pre-trial Chamber of the ICC on Friday decided that Libya can take the case against former intelligence chief Abdullah Al-Senoussi, who is suspected of crimes against humanity. The decision may not be final, however, as both prosecution and defence have the right to appeal. The suspect is currently detained in Libya.
The UK confirmed on Thursday that it will take former Liberian leader Charles Taylor to serve his 50-year jail sentence in one of its prisons. The Appeals Court of the Special Court for Sierra Leone confirmed Taylor’s sentence on September 26. He was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity for aiding and abetting rebels who committed atrocities during Sierra Leone’s civil war.
The trials of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and Congolese Senator Jean-Pierre Bemba are set to continue next week before the ICC, according to the Court calendar.