African Union adopts resolution to join International Criminal Court case

The African Union (AU) will formally seek to be enjoined in the criminal case against Deputy President William Ruto after the African heads of states adopted a resolution on the same. The heads of states Summit held in South Africa last weekend finally adopted a resolution that seeks to enjoin in the case against Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC), with a view to pushing for its termination.

The AU Commission will seek to join in the application under Rule 68 by the ICC Prosecutor against the DP as an interested party for purposes of placing before the court all the relevant material arising out of the negotiations. “The commission requested the ICC to terminate or suspend the proceedings against Ruto until Africa’s concerns and proposals for amendments of the Rome Statute of the ICC are considered,” the document adopted reads in part.

Speaking after the resolution was adopted, President Uhuru Kenyatta accused the ICC of reneging on an agreement of the 12th Session of the ICC Assembly of States Parties in December 2013 that amended Rule 68 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Rome Statute to allow for admission of prior recorded testimony.


He said this was to be done subject to the condition that the rule would not be applied retrospectively and subject to the clear understanding that it would not applied to the Kenyan cases. “Once again and in total disregard to the understanding, the prosecutor on May 21, 2015 filed an application under Rule 68 seeking to use recanted evidence in the case involving my DP. The prosecutor’s desperate action is in total violation of the understanding reached by State Parties to the Rome Statute during negotiations on the amendments of Rule 68,” President Kenyatta said.

The President appealed to his peers to sign the Malabo Protocol, which was adopted in June last year on the Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice Human Rights, to enhance the jurisdiction of the court to try international crimes. “The Protocol needs 15 ratifications for its entry into force.

My country signed the Protocol during the January 2015 Summit and has initiated the process to ratify the treaty at our National Assembly. In order to operationalise the court, I urge member states to sign and ratify the Protocol as a matter of priority,” he said. Ruto, who has maintained that he is innocent, is being tried alongside former radio journalist Joshua Sang over the 2008 post-election violence.

Although Ruto’s trial was not initially on the agenda of the 25th AU Summit in South Africa, the Kenyan delegation successfully pushed for its inclusion in talks on Saturday evening.


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