Following the recent collapse of one of the International Criminal Court's high profile cases, it is manifestly unfair to continue subjecting Africa and its people to any aspect of a failing court which clearly no Westerner will subject themselves to, argues Dr David Hoile.
In December 2014, the International Criminal Court dropped its case against the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, stunning many in the international community. Many reasons as to why the case fell spectacularly flat were proffered. But I have been following the proceedings and have written extensively about the ICC since its inception.
For me two simple reasons sum up the shambolic failure of the case. The first is that the ICC simply had no case against Kenyatta. what had been presented as legal proceedings was little more than wishful thinking, and cobbled together by perjured "testimony". In addition, the case was presided over by a chief "judge" who had never even been a lawyer before her political appointment to what many African pundits describe as a political court.
The absence of any real evidence, however, has generally not stopped this court from proceeding with its cases in the past. The ICC has bungled its way through all its cases to date in an all too similar fashion. Few surprises there, then.
The other reason the court ended the case against President Kenyatta can be attributed to what happened in October 2013, when Africa's main decision-making body--the African Union --convened an extraordinary Heads of State Summit to discuss and review the continent's relationship with the ICC, to which 34 African countries are signatories. The Summit raised the spectre of a mass disengagement from the court, with calls for a unified position to leave the ICC en masse unless it stopped its questionable and hypocritical focus on Africa and African leaders. If that had come about, it would have and could still destroy the disdained Hague-based institution, and probably spell its doom.
I was present at the AU in Addis when this happened. I knew then and there that President Kenyatta's case would not be going much further in The Hague. Undoubtedly, the decision to dismiss the Kenyatta case was a political one, by a political court bent on protecting the more than $1 billion invested in the failing institution over the last 13 years.
In the meantime, while efforts are being made to prevent its collapse, the depths to which the ICC's credibility is sinking are deepening. For...