Tuesday, March 19, 2013

International court's credibility in dock over failed prosecutions

“The collapse of the International Criminal Court's case against an ally of Kenya's president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta is the latest blow to a tribunal under close scrutiny for securing just one conviction since it was set up more than a decade ago.
Handed the difficult - some might say impossible - task of building cases for crimes committed years earlier and many thousands of miles away, based on testimony from often unreliable or uncooperative witnesses in hostile environments, prosecutors have struggled to make charges stick.
The unraveling of the case against Francis Muthaura is illustrative of the court's difficulties.
Muthaura was accused, along with Kenyatta, of crimes against humanity for allegedly orchestrating violence after Kenya's 2007 election that cost 1,200 lives. Both men deny the charges… "It's pretty bad when, as in the Ngudjolo case, judges don't believe the witnesses," said William Schabas, an international law expert at Britain's Middlesex University.”

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