The International Criminal Court (ICC) dropped its case against Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto on Tuesday.
In a divided panel, a majority of judges ruled to vacate the case against Mr. Ruto and Joshua arap Sang, a former radio presenter.
The two had been charged with crimes against humanity for their involvement in the 2007-2008 post-election violence that left roughly 1,113 people dead and internally displaced over 500,000 Kenyans.
“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,” presiding Judge Eboe-Osuji ruled.
Judge Robert Fremr argued that there was no basis for the defendants’ prosecution based on the evidence presented to the court.
While Judge Eboe-Osuji dismissed the current case against the accused, he declared a mistrial, stating that the judicial process might have been affected by "witness interference and political meddling,” which weakened the prosecution’s case.
Judge Hererra Carbuccia, in her dissenting opinion, argued that the charges against the accused should not be vacated. She said that the evidence against Mr. Ruto and Mr. Sang was sufficient to convict the them.
The ICC has now failed to convict six suspects charged with crimes against humanity for their roles in the post-election violence. In addition to Mr. Ruto and Mr. Sang, they include Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, MP Henry Kosgey, former head of public service Francis Muthaura, and former police commissioner Hussein Ali.
Mr. Kenyatta was charged for crimes against humanity, but his case was suspended because the government was threatening and bribing witnesses and blocking investigations, according to the prosecutor.
Nelly Warega, a lawyer for the victims of the violence, condemned the ruling, saying it was a “huge disappointment.”
While the cases against Mr. Ruto and Mr. Sang have been dropped, they can still be re-tried in the future.