This why the case against William Ruto, Kenya’s Vice President was dismissed at the International Criminal Court (ICC)
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has dismissed charges against William Ruto, Kenya’s Vice President, and the radio broadcaster, Joshua arap Sang. Even though the court dismissed the case against Ruto and Sang based on “insufficient evidence,” they have not been acquitted just yet. According to the presiding judge, Eboe-Osuji, “the charges are hereby vacated and the accused are discharged from the process without prejudice to their presumption of innocence or the prosecutor’s right to re-prosecute the case at a later time.”
Why were William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang being prosecuted?
In 2013, William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang were charged with crimes against humanity including murder, forcible deportation and persecution during the 2007/2008 eruption of violence in Kenya. Both Ruto and Sang allegedly masterminded the attack on supposed supporters of former President Mwai Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU). In the violence that ensued, which later escalated into an inter-ethnic war complete with political rivalry, over a thousand people were murdered while more than half a million people were displaced.
The prosecutor alleged that Ruto, who was then a member of parliament and the PNU’s rival party, was in charge of implementing the attack that was pre-planned a year before while Sang, who worked as a radio host, was in charge of coordinating the attacks by disseminating coded messages through his broadcasts.
What does the ICC’s new verdict mean for the 2007/2008 violence victims?
“I see people who killed my relatives, raped my cousin, destroyed my property. They have not been arrested and tried. They have not apologized for what they did. How do you expect me to just accept that and move on?” This statement was made by one of the indirect victims of the violence in 2007/2008 to the Human Rights Watch.
The interviews conducted on civil society activists in Kenya by the HRW, show that a senior politician has never been convicted of a major crime, despite numerous allegations of criminal behaviour. However, when William Ruto was charged, the survivors of the post-election violence thought that at last, justice will be served.
That hope may be thwarted with the ICC’s decision to drop the charges against the so-called perpetrators of the crimes against humanity. The ICC’s verdict suggests that the justice that has been long awaited by the survivors of the may never come.