On the second day of the hearing to confirm charges against three prominent Kenyan citizens, prosecutors presented details of their case before Pre-Trial Chamber II judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, arguing that Head of Kenyan Public Service Francis K. Muthaura, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru M. Kenyatta, and former Police Commissioner and now Chief Executive of the Postal Corporation of Kenya Mohammed Hussein Ali were part of an organizational policy to perpetrate acts of violence after presidential elections in Kenya in December 2007.
Lead prosecution attorney Ms. Adesola Adeboyejo in presenting the prosecution’s case against the three suspects told the judges that the question that needs to be answered is “who are the persons responsible for the organization of these acts of violence?” She responded by saying that the prosecution will show linkage evidence through the testimonies of several witnesses, corroborated by documents from the Kenyan government and international human rights organizations, that the suspects bear responsibility for serious crimes committed against civilian populations in Kenya.
Explaining the existence of an alleged organizational policy, Ms. Adeboyejo said that Mr. Muthaura and Mr. Kenyatta created a common plan and policy to retaliate against members of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), who had attacked supporters of the Party of National Unity (PNU) on the basis that the 2007 elections had been stolen from them. The aim of the common plan, Ms. Adeboyejo said, was to keep the PNU in power at all costs, including through the commission of crimes.
The organizational structure, Ms. Adeboyejo said involved the Mungiki group and the Kenyan police. She traced Mr. Kenyatta’s alleged historical ties to the Mungiki as dating to his early political days. The Mungiki group has been branded as an unlawful criminal organization that was ready to perpetrate violence in order to keep the PNU in power, and Mr. Kenyatta, prosecutors say, had control over this group.
Ms. Adeboyejo further said that in his position as head of Kenya’s public service, Mr. Muthaura exercised de facto powers over the Kenyan police and he used that authority to issue directives for the police to give a free zone to the activities of the Mungiki group.
Prosecutors say that the third suspect, Mr. Ali, used his position as Police Commissioner to implement the organizational policy by giving effect to Mr. Muthaura’s directives not to interfere with the activities of the Mungiki, thereby creating a free zone for the perpetration of violence.
The prosecution pointed to series of alleged meetings that were held to plan this organizational policy. Ms. Adeboyejo read witness statements about a meeting held in the Kenyan presidential offices, State House, where Mr. Kenyatta is alleged to have said that the PNU was not ready to handover power to the ODM and that he would coordinate the Mungiki group to ensure that this was the case. At an alleged second meeting that was held at the Nairobi Members Club, Mr. Muthaura is alleged to have assured the Mungiki youths that he would ensure that the police did not interfere with their work. According to a witness statement, Mr. Muthaura subsequently called Police Commissioner Ali, instructing him to keep the police away from the Mungiki.
The Kenyan police and the Mungiki became one organizational structure that was brought together for a common goal, Ms. Adeboyejo told the judges. She submitted that Mr. Ali kept in constant contact with the police as the common plan was put into effect. The Mungiki, Ms. Adeboyejo said, were given access to state resources including police uniforms as they attacked supporters of the ODM, killing them and subjecting them to various kinds of sexual violence.
These attacks, according to prosecutors were not isolated, but were widespread and systematic.
The prosecution went through the various crimes that the suspects are alleged to bear responsibility for, explaining the various elements of the said crimes and how they were perpetrated by youths under the control of the suspects.
Details of crimes of murder, forcible transfer of populations, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and other inhuman acts were heard in court today, as prosecutors read witness statements alleging attacks against ODM supporters in very gruesome ways. Prosecutors read stories of victims who stood by and saw their loved ones hacked to death, grown men subjected to castration and forced circumcision, and rape victims who have been impregnated and have become infected with HIV and AIDS.
The three suspects, prosecutors said, were responsible for these crimes and must be held accountable for them.
When court resumes tomorrow, prosecutors will continue presenting their evidence, focusing on the crime of persecution and the alleged individual criminal responsibility of the suspects. The defense teams for the three suspects will make their submissions immediately after the prosecution concludes its evidence.