International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Proposed International Crimes Division Will Face Constitutional Challenges, Says Report

A new report has recommended a review of the proposed jurisdiction of a yet-to-be-set-up International Crimes Division of the Kenyan High Court because it is too wide, and it has also recommended that more thought is needed on how it will be established.

The report also concluded that proposals on how the International Crimes Division will handle cases emanating from the violence that shook up Kenya after the December 2007 presidential election are bound to face constitutional and other challenges if they are not changed.

On August 8, Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ) released a report titled A Real Option for Justice? that analyzes proposals on how an International Crimes Division of the High Court of Kenya could be formed. … Continue Reading


Expert Witness Says Kenyan Government Failed to Protect Victims of Sexual Violence

A landmark class action case against the Kenyan government is unfolding in the Nairobi High Court. Sexual violence survivors and Kenyan non-governmental organizations (NGOs) acting on behalf of all victims of sexual violence committed in the aftermath of the 2007 Kenyan presidential election brought a case against the government alleging numerous violations of the Kenyan constitution for the government’s failures to protect them, to investigate and punish the perpetrators, and to provide reparations.

At the most recent hearing, the petitioners’ lead expert witness testified about these failures. The witness, Patricia Nyaundi, is a Kenyan women’s rights leader, a former member of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC), and the secretary of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. She argued … Continue Reading

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Judges Order Kenyan Government to Provide Kenyatta Records to Prosecution

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has ordered the Kenyan government to provide the prosecution with eight categories of records relating to President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta unless there is a Kenyan law stopping it from doing so.

Trial Chamber V(b) made this decision on Tuesday after Kenya’s Attorney General Githu Muigai challenged Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s request. Muigai’s view is the request is a “fishing expedition” because it is neither specific nor relevant nor necessary to the case against Kenyatta.

The Kenyan president faces five counts of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the violence that followed the December 2007 presidential poll in Kenya. Kenyatta was not a candidate in that election as he was supporting the incumbent at the time, Mwai … Continue Reading


Victims of Kenya’s Post-Election Violence Still Destitute, Seeking Justice, Six Years Later

Many victims are still destitute, seeking justice or reparations, and are still suffering from the injuries they sustained during the violence that nearly tore apart Kenya six years ago, a new report has concluded.

“My husband remained in hospital for three years. Now he is never awake, he is just sleeping. He has to be carried everywhere,” Grace told Amnesty International. She is quoted in the human rights organisation’s latest report on victims’ perspectives on the post-election violence in Kenya. The report is titled, “Crying For Justice.” Amnesty International released the report last week in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Grace is one of 49 victims of the bloodshed that followed Kenya’s December 2007 presidential poll who were interviewed in-depth for Amnesty International’s … Continue Reading

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Witness Tells ICC Ruto’s Name Was in the Envelope

A witness in the trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang at the International Criminal Court (ICC) partially answered an issue that has been the subject of speculation in Kenya for almost six years.

Gavin McFayden told the court on Friday that Ruto was one of the people named in what is generally known as the envelope in Kenya. This refers to a list of people who allegedly bear the greatest responsibility for the bloodshed that followed the December 2007 presidential election in Kenya. That violence is the subject of the trial of Ruto and Sang at the ICC.

The Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence drew up the list and sealed it in an envelope that they … Continue Reading


Waki Commission Member Testifies in Ruto and Sang Trial

A member of a commission appointed by the Kenyan government to investigate the violence that followed the December 2007 presidential poll told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that the official figure of the number of people displaced by the violence was lower than the figure the commission came up with.

Gavin McFayden told the court on Thursday that one reason for the discrepancy was that the government figure only took into account people who fled the violence and sought refuge in camps. McFayden said there were others who went to what he called their home areas or districts or made alternative arrangements away from the camps for the displaced.

McFayden began his testimony before Trial Chamber V(a) after it resumed hearings in … Continue Reading


Kenyan Attorney General and ICC Prosecution Disagree on Documents

The government of Kenya and the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecution have disagreed on the scope and dates of documents that the prosecution has requested in the trial of President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.

Trial lawyer Benjamin Gumpert informed the court on Wednesday that Kenya had provided it with documents in five out of the eight categories of records it had requested from the government. Attorney General Githu Muigai told the court that in some cases the government was unable to provide the prosecution with the documents it had asked for because the prosecution had failed to identify which companies or third parties it wanted documents of.

Gumpert and Muigai made these submissions during a status conference called by Trial Chamber V(b). The purpose … Continue Reading


Witness Tells Court He Believes Fires Were Planned

A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) he concluded that the fires in the North Rift region were planned and coordinated because the attackers stopped or started burning several homes and other property at same time.

Witness 405 told the court on Wednesday that attackers stopped burning homes around midnight on December 30, 2007, and then they resumed burning property around 11:00 the following morning. He said this is what led him to conclude that the burning of property was coordinated and planned.

The witness did not say in public where he witnessed these attacks to avoid identifying himself. Witness 405 is testifying in the trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang under court-ordered protective … Continue Reading


Witness Talks of Protests Against Allegations of Vote Rigging Ahead of 2007 Poll

A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) allegations of vote rigging ahead of the December 2007 presidential election sparked demonstrations in Eldoret a day before the poll.

Witness 405 also told the court on Tuesday the allegations of vote rigging consisted of claims that there were ballot papers already marked in favor of President Mwai Kibaki that were going to be stuffed in ballot boxes on voting day. Kibaki and his Party of National Unity faced a challenge from Raila Odinga and the Orange Democratic Movement party (ODM). Eldoret was one of the strongholds of the ODM in the 2007 election.

Hearings resumed on Tuesday with the beginning of testimony from Witness 405. There was no hearing on Monday in the … Continue Reading

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Witness Says She Knew Two Men Who Mobilized Witnesses

A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) she knew two men who acted as intermediaries in different investigations into the violence that shook Kenya after the December 2007 presidential election.

Witness 613 told Trial Chamber V(a) on Friday she did not have any direct knowledge of the work the men did to get witnesses for the investigations they were involved in or the protection programs the men worked with. The men in question were identified in court as William Rono and David Koros. Witness 613 identified Koros in photos shown to her by Shyamala Alagendra, one of the lawyers representing Deputy President William Sameoi Ruto.

Ruto is on trial at the ICC for his alleged role in the bloodshed that followed … Continue Reading