Prosecution Drops Charges Against Francis Muthaura

The Officer of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has announced it is dropping all charges against Francis Muthaura, the former senior Kenyan civil servant previously accused of helping to orchestrate the violence that followed Kenya’s 2007 elections.

In a statement released on Monday, the prosecutor’s office said it “considers that, at this stage, it has no reasonable prospect of conviction were it to proceed to trial against Mr Muthaura on the charges as confirmed.”

Explaining the decision, the statement added:

“The Muthaura case has presented serious investigative challenges, including a limited pool of potential witnesses, several of whom have been killed or died since the 2007-2008 post-election violence in Kenya, and others who are unwilling to testify or provide evidence to the Prosecution. Despite assurances of its willingness to cooperate with the Court, the Government of Kenya has in fact provided only limited cooperation to the Prosecution, and has failed to assist it in uncovering evidence that would have been crucial, or at the very least, mayhave been useful in the case against Mr Muthaura.

“In addition, there have been post-confirmation developments with respect to a critical witness against Mr Muthaura, who recanted a significant part of his incriminating evidence after the confirmation decision was issued, and who admittedaccepting bribes from persons allegedly holding themselves out as representatives of both accused. In all the circumstances, this witness was dropped from the Prosecution’s witness list for trial.”

The statement concludes: “When the current evidentiary record against Mr Muthaura is viewed in its totality,  the  Prosecution  does  not  consider  that  it  is  sufficient  to secure  a conviction against Mr Muthaura at this stage. Given that in the estimation of the  Prosecution  there  is  no  reasonable  prospect  of  conviction  at  this  stage, the Prosecution withdraws the charges against Mr Muthaura.”