The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 13 October 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on October 13, 2014

The Rendon Group Snapshot Report

(13OCT14)

 

Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.

 

Kenyan Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta at the International Criminal Court

 

Source: Getty Images

 

This week’s snapshot focuses on Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta becoming the first standing president to appear before the International Criminal Court (ICC).  President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto are both accused of allegedly orchestrating violence in Kenya in 2007 after the presidential campaign that led to over a thousand deaths.  ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has postponed the start of the trial numerous times, citing lack of evidence. The prosecution has suffered a series of setbacks, with witnesses withdrawing and others admitting to lying.

 

 

News Summary of events during the week of 06OCT-12OCT:

 

06OCT14: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said he would go to the International Criminal Court, facing charges of crimes against humanity, becoming the first sitting president to appear. (AFP)

07OCT14: International Criminal Court prosecutors asked judges to rule that Kenya is not cooperating with their crimes against humanity case against Uhuru Kenyatta, as the Kenyan president flew to The Hague. (AFP)

08OCT14: Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta became the first sitting president to appear before the International Criminal Court, where his lawyer sought an acquittal on charges of crimes against humanity. (AFP)

09OCT14: President Uhuru Kenyatta returned home to Kenya, where he was welcomed by thousands cheering, declaring him “innocent.” (AFP)

09OCT14: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni criticized the ICC for issuing summons against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and called for African countries to review their membership in the Court. (Daily Nation)

10OCT14: Over ten global NGOs will stand to lose USD22.5 million should the case against President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto collapse (Daily Post)

11OCT14: Kenyan politicians asked the ICC to withdraw crimes against humanity cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta, citing lack of evidence. (Daily Nation)

12OCT14: Three human rights activists called on the UN to impose sanctions on Kenya for not cooperating with the ICC. (Daily Post)

 

 

Sample of Twitter handles regarding Kenyatta at the International Criminal Court:

@HagueTrialsKEN – News aggregator of articles related to Kenya and the ICC

@jeromestarkey – Jerome Starkey, Africa correspondent for The Times (UK), based in Kenya

@alexgwhiting –  Alex Whiting, Harvard law professor, former ICC and ICTY prosecutor, FORMER Assistant US Attorney and criminal civil rights division prosecutor

@petermartell – AFP’s East Africa + Indian Ocean news editor

@benjaminduerr – German Correspondent covering Africa and the international courts in The Hague for Al Jazeera English

 

Sample of Third Party Validators regarding Kenyatta at the International Criminal Court:

 

Kate Cronin-Furman, Lawyer and PhD candidate, Columbia University

“One of the principle goals in setting up the ICC was to ensure that no one, no matter how powerful, could escape justice. In practice, that’s not really how it’s worked out so far. Most of the cases have involved rebel commanders rather than members of government.”

–       Why Kenya’s president came to the International Criminal Court — and why that’s a problem for the ICC, The Washington Post, 08OCT14

 

Jeffrey Smith, Advocacy officer, RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights

“I also don’t think Kenyatta would be attending this hearing in person if he thought the prosecution had a meaningful, robust case against him.”

–       Why Kenya’s president came to the International Criminal Court — and why that’s a problem for the ICC, The Washington Post, 08OCT14

 

John Ryle, Co-founder and executive director, Rift Valley Institute think tank

“The ICC has, unfortunately, become a toxic brand in much of Africa. The vulnerability of the ICC to this backlash has been a blow for African civil society activists who seek justice and accountability from their leaders.”

–       Why Kenya’s president came to the International Criminal Court — and why that’s a problem for the ICC, The Washington Post, 08OCT14

 

Elizabeth Evenson, Senior counsel, Human Rights Watch

“The way the judges deal with the cooperation issue has significant implications for the court. The judges will need to take whatever decisions they think necessary to bring about full cooperation.”

–       Kenyatta lawyers try to get case thrown out of IC, The Christian Science Monitor, 08OCT14

 

Aimee Ongeso, Program coordinator, Kituo cha Sheria (Center for Legal Empowerment), Kenya

“If the process [the ICC trial] fails, that will send a really strong message: You can get away with impunity, if you are very smart. People will do anything and everything because impunity starts from the top.”

–       Kenyans’ long wait for justice, Deutsche Welle, 14APR14

 

 

Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to Kenyatta at the International Criminal Court:

 

  1. Prosecutors seek ICC ruling that Kenya not cooperating

 

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Byline: N/A
Date: 07 October 2014

THE HAGUE, Oct 07, 2014 (AFP) – International Criminal Court prosecutors on Tuesday asked judges to rule that Kenya is not cooperating with their crimes against humanity case against Uhuru Kenyatta, as the Kenyan president flew to The Hague.

“The Kenyan government is not going to give us what we are asking for and what the chamber has approved of (us) asking for,” senior prosecutor Ben Gumpert told a three-judge bench.

“The only conclusion to be drawn… is that if the court is satisfied that our arguments are right it should make a finding of non-compliance on the part of the government of Kenya,” Gumpert said.

ICC judges are holding two days of hearings to discuss the status of the powerful African leader’s floundering case, which has been repeatedly postponed amid allegations of witness intimidation and that Kenya was not cooperating.

Continue reading

 

 

  1. Kenyatta becomes first president to appear before ICC

 

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Byline: N/A
Date: 08 October 2014

THE HAGUE, Oct 08, 2014 (AFP) – Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday became the first sitting president to appear before the International Criminal Court where he has been charged with crimes against humanity.

Kenyatta, who handed power to his deputy before flying to The Hague, was summoned to answer questions about his floundering trial for allegedly masterminding deadly post-election violence in 2007-2008.

Wearing a charcoal suit and blue tie, a relaxed-looking Kenyatta spoke with his lawyer before the start of the “status conference”.

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who has alleged witness intimidation and that Nairobi is withholding evidence, was also present.

“The case is at a critical juncture, which is why I deemed appropriate to be here in person,” she said.

 

Continue reading

 

 

  1. Ugandan president slams international court over Kenyatta hearing

 

Media: Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)
Byline: Henry Wasswa
Date: 09 October 2014

Kampala (dpa) – Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday criticized the International Criminal Court for summoning his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, on charges of crimes against humanity, and urged African countries to reconsider their membership in the tribunal.

The 52-year-old is the first head of state to come before the ICC. He has appeared at The Hague-based court before, but not after he became president.

 

Continue Reading

 

  1. Crowds cheer Kenyan leader’s return from ICC court

 

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Byline: Peter Martell
Date: 09 October 2014

NAIROBI, Oct 09, 2014 (AFP) – President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived in Nairobi Thursday to crowds cheering him home, a day after becoming the first sitting president to appear before the International Criminal Court on crimes against humanity charges.

Kenyatta, who was given a red carpet welcome with a military honour guard as well as dancers singing songs declaring he “is innocent,” had appeared in The Hague-based court on Wednesday.

Supporters chanted his name and waved Kenyan flags after he landed in Nairobi airport shortly after dawn, with the president standing out the sunroof of a car addressing cheering supporters.

 

Continue Reading

 

  1. BLOG: Why Kenya’s president came to the International Criminal Court — and why that’s a problem for the ICC

Media: World Views (Washington Post)
Byline: Adam Taylor
Date: 08 October 2014

On Wednesday, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands – the same court that charged him with crimes against humanity in 2012. While he has said that he is attending the court as a private citizen and not representing Kenya, it’s still a remarkable moment. Kenyatta is the first head of state to ever appear at the ICC since it was established in 2002 to prosecute war crimes.

“One of the principle goals in setting up the ICC was to ensure that no one, no matter how powerful, could escape justice,” Kate Cronin-Furman, a lawyer and PhD candidate at Columbia University who has worked at the Hague, says in an e-mail. “In practice, that’s not really how it’s worked out so far. Most of the cases have involved rebel commanders rather than members of government.”

Continue Reading

 

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