The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecution has admitted that it regrets on how it handled the Kenyan cases that collapsed before full trial and is looking to revive the cases in the future.
Speaking on the sidelines of an international justice symposium held in Arusha, Tanzania earlier this week, the court’s Senior Trial Lawyer Anton Steynberg said that they adopted a strategy that led to the collapse of the cases.
According to Steynberg, the cases facing President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto were weakened by “direct attack” on prosecution witnesses and the failure of the Kenyan government to cooperate with the prosecution.
“Our cases were weakened to such a situation as we didn’t think, in our right conscience, that we could proceed with them as it were. It is said the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. Who knows, the next regime may be much more cooperative, or the next after the next,” he said. “I am not about to retire...I can wait.”
The Arusha symposium was themed Fighting impunity in East Africa: Ensuring accountability for international and transnational organized crimes and was sponsored by Wayamo Foundation.
“The fact that they were able to turn it around into a positive and win top elective posts was beyond us. Together with other efforts, their unity and the residual fears of prosecution contributed to a peaceful general election in Kenya in 2013,” Steynberg told reporters.
He further admitted that the Kenyan cases led to change in policy of Office of The Prosecutor (OTP) with regard to investigations.
“Perhaps at that stage (Ocampo Six stage) we should have done more. At that time, they were not in charge of the Government. We could have deployed more resources and minimized the risks for our witnesses. With benefit of hindsight and now wiser, a lot of things could have been done differently,” he admitted.