There has been a sigh of relief for Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang after ICC declared they have no case to answer. William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang are free men after ICC Trial Chamber made the ruling at The Haguie early Tuesday evening.
The ruling comes after years of a grueling trial as the aftermath of clashes after the disputed 2007 general elections. Mr Ruto was being accused of murder, deportation and persecution charges during violence that followed the elections in which about 1,200 people were killed. His lawyers wanted the case to be terminated due to a lack of evidence.
Mr arap Sang, a radio journalist, was accused of using his radio show to organise attacks in the days after the election.
The proceedings have been declared a mistrial due to alleged ‘witness interfering and political meddling’. Asserting that the accused were discharged without “prejudice to their presumed innocence” and the Prosecutor’s right to reprosecute the case at a later date, the Trial Chamber declared the charges against the two dropped.
The ICC has invited the victims to “express view and concerns in relation to reparation or assistance in lieu of reparation”.
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Initially, Ruto and Sang were accused alongside four others, President Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura, Major General (rtd) Hussein Ali and Henry Kosgey.
The matter was referred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague after attempts to conduct a criminal investigation of the key perpetrators in Kenya failed despite earlier interventions by the then UN Secretary General, Koffi Annan, and the then US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice.
ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo sought summonses for the six in 2010 and the preliminary hearings officially took place in April 2011.
The Pre-Trial Chamber II declined to confirm the charges against Ali, Kosgey and Muthaura but confirmed the charges against Kenyatta, Ruto and Sang.
The case against Ruto and Sang began in September 2013 while that against Kenyatta began in February 2014.
In 2014, the prosecutor dropped the charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta, alleging that witnesses had been intimidated to make them change their testimony.
Prosecution is however allowed to appeal the ruling.