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ICC seeks to hear cases in Kenya

Discussion in 'Kenyan News and Politics' started by Rutashubanyuma, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    Joined: Sep 24, 2010
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    ICC seeks to hear cases in Kenya

    Updated 18 hr(s) 12 min(s) ago
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    By Alex Ndegwa
    The International Criminal Court has made a move that could see the September confi rmation hearings against the ‘Ocampo Six’ held in Kenya.
    This could be a public relations coup against the Government, which is opposed to the prosecution of the six individuals at the court based at The Hague in The Netherlands. But it could be a relief to the suspects who would be spared the agony of another visit to a foreign country to answer to accusations of crimes against humanity. Although the court clarified that the suspects don’t have to travel to The Hague in September, the need to be close to the lawyers during the pre-trial hearing is irresistible.
    Given the outcome of the upcoming hearings
    could potentially make or break their careers, it’s somewhat a relief to have such a momentous decision made in familiar territory.
    On a week the ICC judges threw out the Government’s admissibility challenge to maintain The Hague proceedings will go on, they are toying with the idea of moving confirmation hearings against the ‘Ocampo Six’ to Kenya.
    Yesterday the Pre-Trial Chamber II requested observations on the possibility of conducting the court sessions to determine whether the crimes against humanity cases against the six should be sent to full trial in Kenya.
    A statement posted on the court’s official website stated that the Pre-Trial Chamber II had issued a decision requesting observations from the Prosecutor, the Defence, and the victims on the desirability of conducting the confirmation of charges hearings in Kenya.
    [​IMG]In a surprise move, International Criminal Court judges propose to have the Pre-Trial Chamber hearings for Muthaura, Ruto, Uhuru, Sang, Kosgey and Ali in September conducted in Kenya and now await responses from Ocampo and defence lawyers.
    Both cases
    The Chamber requested that the parties and participants submit their observations not later than June 13.
    "The Chamber stated that in order to properly assess the desirability and feasibility of conducting the confirmation of charges hearings in the Republic of Kenya, it was deemed valuable to receive observations from the parties and participants to the proceedings in both cases," added the statement.
    ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo would be stating his preference hot on the heels of his claim last month that Kenya was sabotaging his investigations and was out to protect the six suspects.
    Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of the Civil Service, Francis Muthaura, and Postmaster General, Hussein Ali, who served as the police commissioner during the 2007 post-election violence, are facing the first case of crimes against humanity.
    The other case involves ODM’s Eldoret North MP, William Ruto, Tinderet MP, Henry Kosgey, and Kass FM radio presenter, Joshua arap Sang.
    Court rejected
    No reasons were given for the request to hold the hearings in Kenya on September 1, and September 21, for the two cases.
    Upon learning about the request, Ruto and Sang’s lawyer Katwa Kigen said they need time to consult us a team of lawyers representing the six suspects and also to get the positions of their clients on what observations to make.
    "The indication by the court on its desire to conduct confirmation hearings in Kenya is very satisfying because it shows that the court has confidence in the country’s infrastructure, including its institutions, laws, and security," said Kigen.
    Other lawyers declined to be quoted but said they found it strange that it was coming barely a week after the court rejected the admissibility case filed by the Government.
    "Moreno-Ocampo has been saying witnesses are being threatened and that Kenya is a very hostile place, does that mean the judges do not trust what he has been telling them?" asked a lawyer, who did not want to be quoted.
    The latest development comes after ICC judges on Monday threw out the Government’s admissibility challenge case and upheld the cases before the court would continue.
    Attorney General Amos Wako has since said the Government will appeal the Monday ruling even as authorities reiterated their co-operation with the court to a visiting ICC delegation.
    Wako maintained Kenya will stick to its position that there are ongoing investigations into the cases of the Ocampo Six locally, despite the judges having ruled that he instructed CID director to commence investigations two weeks after Kenya filed its admissibility challenge.
    The AG blamed the squabbling in the Grand Coalition Government, the standoff in the House Justice Committee that would have vetted the new Chief Justice, and the bumpy implementation of the Constitution on the failure of Kenya’s case.
    "The ultimate success of the Government’s application will depend on the manner, speed, determination and unity with which we carry out constitutional reforms, and in particular judicial and police reforms," Wako said.
    A confirmation of charges hearing is held to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that a suspect committed the crimes brought against them.
    If the charges are confirmed, the Pre-Trial Chamber commits the person for trial.
  2. Rutashubanyuma

    Rutashubanyuma JF-Expert Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    Joined: Sep 24, 2010
    Messages: 60,536
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    I very much doubt the indicted ones will get a fair hearing................I have a sneaky feeling ICC is playing politics with human life for own betterment.............politics of perception..................