ICC Formally Ends Case Against Kenya’s President

PARIS — The criminal proceedings against President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya were formally closed on Friday by the judges of the International Criminal Court, three months after the prosecution dropped charges linking him to postelection violence in his country.


Mr. Kenyatta, the first sitting president to appear before the court in The Hague, was charged in 2011 with helping to orchestrate and finance ethnic clashes after disputed elections in 2007. The violence left more than 1,200 people dead and forced 600,000 from their homes.

But the trial was postponed five times and canceled after prosecutors could not show that they had sufficient evidence to proceed. The defense always claimed that Mr. Kenyatta was innocent and that the charges were based purely on rumors and slander. Prosecutors attributed their failure to start the trial to the Kenyan authorities, who they said obstructed the investigations, refused access to documents and intimidated and bribed witnesses.

The judges, however, did not throw out the charges, as demanded by the defense, leaving open the possibility of reviving them. “The court retains jurisdiction over any interference with a witness or with the collection of evidence,” the court said in its statement.

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