Icc Developments Pose Future Risks For Kenya
The ICC’s judges made two calls that could potentially have an impact on political risk in Kenya. The first important ruling was made by a panel of judges in the matter of the case against President Uhuru Kenyatta for alleged involvement in the violence that followed the 2007 election.
The ICC’s prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, withdrew her case against Kenyatta in December 2014, saying that her team did not have enough evidence to present in the case. She complained at the time that the lack of evidence was the fault of the Kenyan government, which had not handed over bank and telephone records that the ICC had asked for, and that the government had thus “failed fully to comply with its obligations to the Court.”
After withdrawing the case against Kenyatta, Bensouda applied to the ICC to report Kenya to the Assembly of States Parties (the countries that belong to the ICC) for its refusal to co-operate. An earlier trial panel of judges decided not to do so, but on Wednesday an appeals panel overruled that decision and referred the issue of co-operation back to the trial chamber, saying that it had to separate the co-operation issue from the actual case against Kenyatta.
If the trial chamber changes its original ruling, Kenya will be referred to the Assembly of States Parties and potentially next to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which could possibly impose sanctions. This process has no direct bearing on the case against Kenyatta, although if Kenya hands over records under threat of sanctions, the prosecution could theoretically re-open the case. Any such development, if it happens, is years down the line, however.