Imagine the British Government appointed as Minister for Africa a man close friends with a mercenary who attempted to overthrow an African President.
Imagine this same minister was fully supportive of an international court that, during its nine-year history, had only prosecuted black Africans.
Imagine that this court’s most high-profile case, against the Deputy Prime Minister of Kenya, had been based solely on evidence from a single witness chosen by associates of his political opponent, the favourite of the British Government.
This is not a Frederick Forsyth novel, but the dangerous reality of Britain’s foreign policy towards Kenya. Henry Bellingham, British Minister for Africa, is a close friend of Simon Mann, the mercenary who tried and failed to orchestrate a coup in Equatorial Guinea.
Mr Bellingham has publicly supported the work of the International Criminal Court ( ICC) that has so far only tried black Africans, when, from Libya to Syria, there are many more victims who still await justice.
But as I learnt during my time as chief defence counsel to Charles Taylor, the requirement of international justice is not the raison d’etre of the ICC at all.
Instead, the court acts as a vehicle for its primarily European funders, of which the UK is one of the largest, to exert their power and influence, particularly in Africa.
Some would argue it is reasonable for countries to exercise their power in foreign countries through legal means. If this is the case, it is surely sensible to support both the institutions and legal cases that might realise this goal.
The case against Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, is of serious concern not only because of the serious lack of evidence against him, but also because of the methods used to obtain this evidence.
The ICC did not directly source witnesses for this case, nor has it done so in any other case heard before the court.