In 2010, the International Criminal Court began proceedings against six Kenyan officials, including the country’s current president, Uhuru Kenyatta, of crimes against humanity over their responsibility in the deaths of more than 1,100 people, the displacement of an estimated 350,000 others, and rapes and persecutions which followed contested presidential election results in late 2007.

But, as revealed by confidential documents obtained by Mediapart and analysed together with its media partners in the European Investigative Collaborations consortium, the ICC cases fell apart due in large part to the weakness of the investigation led by chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo who, after bringing charges against Kenyatta, subsequently campaigned behind the scenes for the Kenyan leader to escape prosecution. Stéphanie Maupas reports.

Kenyans are due to return to the polls on October 26th in a re-run of presidential elections held on August 8th, after Kenya’s supreme court in September annulled sitting president Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory over longstanding rival Raila Odinga, which it ruled was invalidated by “illegalities and irregularities”.

The opposition National Super Alliance movement is demanding an overhaul of the east African country’s electoral commission, and rolling demonstrations in the capital Nairobi in support of the call have been marred by clashes with police.

Tensions are running high, and many fear a repeat of the tragic events that followed the disputed presidential elections in December 2007, when Odinga narrowly lost to Mwai Kibaki (who Kenyatta succeeded in 2013). Over a period of two months, protests over the results led to widespread violence which left more than 1,100 people dead and hundreds of others injured, with an estimated 350,000 people displaced from their home regions.

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