The decision to drop charges against Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta marks one of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) largest setbacks.
The Prosecution which had repeatedly asked for more time to build its case lamented the Kenyan government’s lack of cooperation, but added that a new case could be brought should new evidence be presented.
The prosecution cited witness intimidation and others who withdrew or changed their accounts and the Kenyan government’s failure to present vital documents.
“Despite my persistent efforts and those of my committed Team to advance the course of justice in Kenya, in this instance, those who have sought to obstruct the path of justice have, for now, deprived the people of Kenya of the accountability they deserve,” said ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
“It’s an opportunity really that they have lost, it’s a very sad day for the victims of these crimes.”
Kenyatta had been indicted for crimes against humanity including murder, rape, persecution and deportation as an “indirect co-perpetrator” in post election violence in 2007 in which more than 1,000 people died.
After the charges were dropped against him Kenyatta said his conscience was absolutely clear, and called the case against him a ‘travesty’.