Kenyan Deputy Prime Minister and Two Others Make Initial Appearance In The Hague

Deputy Prime Minister for the Coalition Government of Kenya, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, and two other Kenyan government officials made their initial appearances today before International Criminal Court (ICC) judges in The Hague after being charged by the ICC Prosecutor as allegedly bearing responsibility for crimes against humanity committed during the country’s post-election violence in late 2007 to early 2008.

Mr. Kenyatta, Francis Karimi Muthaura, who serves as Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet of Kenya, and Mohamed Hussein Ali, Chief Executive of the Postal Corporation of Kenya, are all members of the Party of National Unity (PNU) led by Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki.

All three suspects face charges of crimes against humanity for murder, forcible transfer, rape, persecution, and other inhumane acts, committed from January 24 to 31, 2008 in several locations in Kenya. While Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Muthaura are charged as “indirect co-perpetrators” (i.e., committing crimes through other persons), Mr. Ali is charged with contributing to the commission of the same crimes that Kenyatta and Muthaura are alleged to have committed.

At today’s initial appearance hearing, the three suspects were informed of the charges against them and the rights to which they are entitled.

The Presiding Judge of the Pre-Trial Chamber Ekaterina Trendafilova also used the occasion to caution the three suspects that they were expected to conduct themselves well within the requirements of the rules of the Court. She added that the Chamber will “not hesitate to met out sanctions as provided under the rules” of the Court if any of them were to deviate from the required conduct.

The Presiding Judge expressed concerns over reports about statements allegedly made by the suspects, which she said had the potential to reignite violence in Kenya.

“There are movements towards retriggering the violence in Kenya by way of dangerous statements…Such actions will be considered a breach of the conditions in the summons to appear,” Judge Trendafilova said.

She warned that any such breach will be met by a sanction from the Chamber.

Karim Khan, representing Mr. Muthaura, assured the Judges that his client had not been involved in making any inflammatory comments, and he did not want the Kenyan public to perceive him as doing such. He assured that Mr. Muthaura will cooperate with the proceedings to the fullest extent.

All three suspects told the Court that they had been fully informed of the charges against them. The Presiding Judge assured the suspects that until the charges against them are confirmed, their appearance in The Hague does not in anyway translate into the commencement of a trial.

“There will be no trial in case the charges are not confirmed by the Chamber,” the Presiding Judge assured the suspects.

The date for the commencement of the confirmation hearing was set for September 21, 2011. During this hearing, the Prosecution will lead evidence to establish the responsibility of the suspects for the crimes with which they are charged. If the Pre-Trial judges determine that the Prosecution has led evidence to show that there is a case against the suspects, the matter will be sent to trial before a Trial Chamber of three different judges. The decision to send the matter to trial will not translate into guilt of the suspects. At trial, the Prosecution will lead evidence again to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspects are guilty of the crimes with which they are charged. The suspects will be released if the Prosecution fails to discharge this burden.

The Judges also today set a date of April 18 for a status conference during which the Prosecution will state an estimate of the overall amount of documents they intend to use during the confirmation hearings, the number of witnesses, and witness statements that will be used, an indication of whether documents disclosed to the defense will be in redacted form, and whether there will be a request for protective measures for prosecution witnesses. The defense will also indicate during the status conference whether they intend to present evidence during the confirmation hearings.

The three suspects were told that they are not obliged to attend the status conference.

Today’s initial appearance follows the appearance yesterday of three other suspects, also accused of bearing responsibility for the crimes committed during the post-election violence in Kenya in late 2007 to early 2008. The three suspects who made their initial appearance yesterday were  radio journalist Joshua Arap Sang and members of the Kenyan Parliament William Samoei Ruto and Henry Kosgey.

About 4o senior Kenyan government officials, including the country’s Attorney General were in court both yesterday and today in a show of solidarity for their colleagues. Some members of Kenya’s civil society were also present in court to witness the proceedings.

5 Comments

  1. We, patriotic Kenyans of good faith, are overwhelmed with joy with the feeling that whatever the outcome of the Ocampo six; whether guilty or not guilty, our beloved country Kenya will not be the same again.
    The ICC and the International Community of the friendly nations and individuals, have redeemed our human feeling, just by this early stage of the PEVcase.
    One of the most important observation to note is the magnitude of impunity in our society, and the perpetrators of this evil should be noted as; OUR LEADERS, PROTECTORS, LAW-MAKERS AND LITIGATORS.
    The above unfortunate situation, which renders a common man hopeless, with no one to turn to for help, can be clearly demonstrated by the fact that only six suspects, in addition to their legal counsels, they are accompanied by not less than 40 law-makers, the govt Chief Advisor and Chief Solicitor; all as sympatisers of suspects of very serous crimes who are also equally senior govt officially.
    We kindly ask the ICC Judges (though it could not have escaped their attention), to note this fact as they deal with the six suspects. The forty-plus, whom they have seen in that court are also suspects, and there are hundreds of more govt officials back at home who are also suppoters of the suspects, then they would know the postion of the ordinary Kenyan and how much he would suffer under the weight of impunity in that kind of govt.
    We are sure ICC and all those involved assisting Kenyans to get justice are going to turn around our lives in Kenya.
    Thank you, and God bless you all.

    Reply

    1. As one of the victims of the 2007 post election violence, I feel gratified to read Jeremiah’s comment which came soon after the ICC Court took its hammer and poised its sharp nail on the Ocampo Six Cases which is a goodwill demonstration by the court to continue driving the nail deeper into the cases until all the truth regarding the part played by the Six suspects in the PEV comes out crystal clear and justice is meted out accordingly. Surely, it boggles the mind of any right-thinking human being why Senior Kenya Government Officials and parliamentarians were present in court as a show of sympathy with perpetrators of impunity when back at home they have a backlog of things they are supposed to be handling to improve the welfare of the Kenyan citizenry. One thing comes out very cleary out of their urge to be present in the court. All of them are not any different from the Ocampo Six. They are perpetrators of impunity as well and as the old adage says “birds of the same feather flock together”. They have been unable to establish a tribunal in Kenya to try PEV perpetrators and are unwilling to do so now and in the future because to them the victims of the violonce don’t matter, they are just next to nothing, millions of Kenyans do not know them unlike them who make things move in Kenya. Victims of PEV are still suffering and the solidarity that has been demonstrated by the government officials and parliamentarians for the O’Six cannot find place in Kenya for the downtroden. Let that hammer and that nail the ICC court has poised over the O’Six cases not fail to bring justice for all of us downtroden Kenyans. God bless ICC forever.

      Reply

  2. THINK ICC WILL DELIVER JUSTICE FOR ALL KENYANS NOT ONLY FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY VIOLENCE EVEN THE SUSPECTS BECOUSE THEY HAVE RIGHT AS MANY OTHER KENYAN WHO WANT JUSTICE.

    ALSO THEY MUST SEEK THE WAYS OF ARREST TRIBALISM IN KENYA BECAUSE THAT WAS THE MAIN CAUSE OF VIOLENCE IN KENYA.

    THANK AND GOD BLESS KENYA.

    Reply

  3. The icc mighty be doing its work innocently.unware that they being used to hinder justice.some body dashed and with help of probabally western powers who are kin that their choice get into power in kenya(just like they do other countries, regime change).when they are dealing with people who mighty be innocent.that way justice will never be found.but rather the conscience of the people will be consoled but that is not justice.there some known perpetaraters who were the head at that time those the waring groups and they were deliberately left out.the victims of PEV will never get justice from the icc.but their desire for justice is being used to the end that some people can achieve their goal.
    after the icc kenya cases its high time that all the african countries walked out from the icc.its a western tool to safe guard their inerests.
    onother organisation that western countries are now miss using is the un.this was very manufest in lybia and syria.un security council is not protecting the world no more.it has become a tool of the west.that brings the world into a very dangerous position.the world might go to a world war. america and natto are heading us there

    let the icc get investigator from china russia and also from west and let them investigate the PEV in kenya.but not some body who is in the pocket of the west.
    with ocampo we kenya is done.it was in eyes of america and west.it were better for kenya to go to drain that for kenya to go east.Africa is COLONY OF AMERICA AND THE WEST.

    Reply

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