UhuRuto slowly killing the ICC, research shows


PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto are slowly killing off the ICC, according to the latest research published in the Journal of East African studies.

 The research by Susanne Mueller says their pairing in the 2013 presidential elections was calculated at insulating them against ICC while emasculating the Hague-based court.

The journal is titled “Kenya and the ICC: Politics, election and the law”. It says Uhuru and Ruto employed strategies to delay their cases until they took power through an election largely defined by their cases.

It says since they took over power, the court has had to deal with the reality of their “victory”. They have continued to frustrate the court.

“One result is that some of the trial chamber’s recent decisions seemed to accommodate the political power of individuals accused of grave crimes. This suggests a divided court under siege by its defendants and under pressure,” the research says.

It says UhuRuto have successfully used their March 4 victory to gain concessions from the court. The research adds that this has reinforced the dictum “to the victor goes the spoils.”

It blames the court for entertaining “frivolous defence requests”, which “reinforced the view that the defendants and the Kenyan state were gaining traction and that political power mattered more than the law. The research says that from the ongoings, it is unclear who is on trial between the court and the indictees.

“The defendants have used their political victory to gain more delays and other concessions from the court. They have proved adept at using the law to undermine the court not only domestically, but also internationally,” it says.

The research says the situation shows ICC’s “limited enforcement powers when political power and non-compliance combine to threaten the law.” It also raises questions about the efficacy of international criminal law and some of the ICC’s own decisions and procedures.

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