Kenya team walks out of ICC State Parties meeting

ICC’s Assembly of States Parties (ASP) was forced to hold an emergency meeting Thursday to salvage its ongoing conference after Kenya’s delegation walked out of the meeting in protest over failure to resolve the controversial Rule 68.

The ASP Bureau failed to amend Rule 68, a move that could see the International Criminal Court (ICC) use recanted evidence in the case facing Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Sang.

This is a blow to Kenya, which is represented at the conference by a delegation of more than 40 people who are pushing for the amendment of the rule.

“I registered strong objections to the lack of genuine commitment to address Kenya’s concerns,” said Foreign Affairs secretary Amina Mohamed, through her Twitter handle. The CS said the move indicated that Kenya would have no option other than to contemplate withdrawal from the ICC.

Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale, who is leading a delegation of Kenyan MPs, said the ASP bureau has not ruled on Rule 68. “We have stood our ground and the President is trying to end stalemate,” he said.

Kenya has been lobbying for the support of Western nations in order to push for the amendments, but most countries have differed with Kenya’s move noting that it will interfere with the independence of the court.

If the ASP votes in favour of Kenya, it is likely that Mr Ruto and Mr Sang may be let off the hook by the ICC because prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is using recanted evidence to reinforce her case against the two.

In August, the ICC judges made a landmark ruling that allowed the prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to use evidence that had already been withdrawn by the witnesses. A total of 16 of the 42 original witnesses withdrew their statements or refused to testify.