Parties to the International Criminal Court on Friday elected Karim Khan as the new prosecutor for a nine-year term starting on June 16.
Khan was Deputy President William Ruto’s lead lawyer at the ICC and also represented former Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura.
Khan won a secret ballot against three other candidates by garnering 72 votes, 10 more than the 62 needed.
The race to succeed outgoing Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda came down to two frontrunners – Khan and Irish lawyer Fergal Gaynor, who represented the PEV victims – in the collapsed cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto.
Kenya had rejected the initial Bensouda replacement shortlist – which did not include Khan – claiming the selection process was biased and doctored to favour a certain applicant.
Khan, a British lawyer with roots in Pakistan, had also represented the former head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura before the ICC.
Muthaura’s case was terminated because star prosecution witnesses withdrew their testimony.
On April 5, 2016, Trial Chamber V(A) decided, by a majority that the case against Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Sang is to be terminated.
Neither the prosecution nor the defence has appealed this decision.
Initially, the case also involved Henry Kiprono Kosgey. Judges declined to confirm the charges against Kosgey on January 23, 2012.
In 2018, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, appointed Khan as the First Special Adviser and Head of the United Nations Team investigating international crimes committed by ISIL / Da’esh i (UNITAD).
Khan, 50, specialises in both international criminal law and international human rights law.
Previously, he worked as a Legal Officer at the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and later as a Legal Adviser at the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).