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ICC drops case against Kenyan politician Francis Muthaura

  • The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday dropped charges against Francis Muthaura, a co-accused of newly elected Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta.

    According to ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, some witnesses were afraid to testify while another had retracted his statement.

    Muthaura was accused of spurring post-election violence following the disputed 2007 presidential polls.

    Lawyers for Kenyatta, who won last week's elections, said similar charges against him should also be dropped.

    Kenyatta’s trial is due to start in The Hague in July.

    Muthaura, a former civil service chief, was on the same side as Kenyatta during the 2007 election, which left more than 1,000 people dead and around 600,000 homeless.

    Kenyatta is accused of directing a militia that allegedly carried out attacks on ethnic groups seen as supporting Raila Odinga against President Mwai Kibaki. He denies the charges.

    Muthaura was accused of five counts of crimes against humanity, including giving the police the power to use excessive force against protestors.

    Kenyatta won the March 4 election with 50.07 percent of the vote, compared with the 43.31 percent for Odinga.

    Odinga is challenging the result in court.

    Kenya is now the second African country after Sudan to have a sitting president who has been indicted by the ICC.

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