The International Criminal Court judges presiding over the scheduled October 8 status conference hearing in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s case will be ‘calibrating’ several issues in deciding whether to dismiss the charges against him or allow the prosecution to continue with it, an international law expert said on Thursday.

The court could order the case be terminated due to insufficient evidence, said Richard Dicker, director of the International Justice Programme at Human Rights Watch.

“If there is no evidence to sustain the charges in a case, such a case should not go to trial,” Mr Dicker said in an interview.

But in addition to ensuring fair trial and the rights of the accused, the court should be “calibrating the importance of accountability, obligations to cooperate with the court, the
dangers of impunity and the need for the court to ‘up its game, Mr Dicker said

The ICC judges must specifically weigh the prosecutor’s claims of witness intimidation and an alleged lack of cooperation by Kenyan authorities in regard to a court order for potential evidence to be handed over, Mr Dicker added.


He said that there was a possibility that the three-judge panel could renew the order for full cooperation by Kenya in recognition of the possibility of the prosecutor not having the
evidence she needs in the case.

A further possibility, the human rights attorney said, is for the judges to rule that non-cooperation by Kenyan authorities required the matter to be referred to the ICC Assembly of
States Parties.

The statute establishing the ICC includes a provision allowing such a referral to be made to the assembly consisting of the 122 nations that have ratified the treaty establishing the court.

The Assembly of States Parties is scheduled to hold its annual meeting at the UN headquarters in New York starting December 8, 2014.

Mr Dicker points out that President Kenyatta will not be questioned by ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda during next week’s status conference in The Hague.

The judges will instead hear arguments from both the defence and the prosecution regarding the next steps in the case.

If the court throws out the charges against President Kenyatta, the ICC will suffer a blow to its credibility, Mr Dicker said.

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“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®