ICC Prosecutor: Kenyan government commits to giving information needed in ICC cases

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor said she has agreed with different arms of the Kenyan government that requests from her office will be addressed by December to enable her meet disclosure deadlines set by ICC  judges.

Fatou Bensouda said Thursday that despite past delays in the government responding to her requests, she was confident the government will act positively to the inquiries from her office.

“The submission of this evidence is essential for giving the Defence a fair trial,” Bensouda said in a statement to journalists Thursday.

The prosecution had in the past requested to interview former and serving police officers and provincial administrators, an issue that is the subject of a court case. Bensouda said the matter came up in her discussion Wednesday with Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and other judicial officials. Bensouda said Mutunga told her that the case will be fast-tracked.

The prosecution has also asked for the financial records of the four prominent Kenyans facing trial at the ICC. Bensouda did not say so directly but indirectly said this is something her office has asked the government’s assistance on when responding to a journalist’s question on why the prosecution is seeking their financial records.

“I cannot comment now on the reason why we need this,” Bensouda in response to the question.

Bensouda also said Mutunga informed her that there is a committee in government looking into setting up a division in the Kenyan judiciary to deal with international crimes. She emphasised, however, that Mutunga told her the cases already before ICC will not be the focus of the division.

The ICC Prosecutor came to Kenya on Sunday, her first visit to the country since being appointed to the position. She briefed the media at the beginning of her Kenya trip. Earlier on Thursday, she went to Nakuru to victims of the violence that shook Kenya between December 2007 and February 2008. On Friday, she will go to Eldoret to visit other victims.

For the ICC Prosecutor’s statement at the beginning of her Kenya trip, read here.