International Criminal Court prosecutors said at The Hague today that they are dropping their crimes against humanity case against Kenyan Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura because of a lack of evidence.
As well as casting serious doubt on the prosecution of the country's president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta, the decision to drop the case against Mr Muthaura was an unprecedented admission of failure by prosecutors.
It was also the first time in the 10-year-old court's history that a case has been dropped so close to a trial.
Mr Kenyatta had been charged along with Mr Muthaura as a "co-perpetrator."
But prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told judges that she is withdrawing all charges against Mr Muthaura, who had been charged with crimes including murder, rape and deportation for his alleged involvement in violence that followed his country's 2007 presidential election.
Mr Kenyatta's lawyer called on prosecutors to reconsider their case against him.
Presiding Judge Kuniko Ozaki said the announcement "will have consequences not just for the case against Mr Muthaura, but also in some way Mr Kenyatta."