Charges Dropped Against Ally of Kenyan President-Elect

Political violence cases in jeopardy


The International Criminal Court's prosecutor dropped charges of crimes against humanity against a fellow defendant of Kenya's president-elect Monday, raising questions about whether the case against Uhuru Kenyatta will hold up as he is on the verge of becoming the nation's leader.

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that the charges against former public service chief Francis Muthaura had been dropped because a key witness recanted and admitted he had accepted bribes. She said the decision had nothing to do with Kenyatta's election victory last week.

With the world watching one of the court's most delicate and politically awkward trials, it is not just Kenyatta who will be on trial when he faces charges of involvement in tribal violence, including murder and rape, that followed elections in 2007. The court too is on trial.