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Kenya Invites ICC Prosecutor for Talks November 3

Kenya Invites ICC Prosecutor for Talks November 3

Kenya Invites ICC Prosecutor for Talks November 3

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Kenya has invited the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor for talks on trying the main suspects in last year's post-election violence.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has been asked to visit November 3 for discussions with President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Kenyan Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo said late Tuesday that he is awaiting Moreno-Ocampo's response after communicating the request by phone and fax.

The ICC prosecutor has said he will pursue "those most responsible" for the riots and ethnic violence that killed about 1,300 people in early 2008.

Neither Kenya nor the ICC has named the suspects but the list is believed to include some high-ranking Kenyan officials.

Kenya has said the ICC is free to prosecute the suspects, after Kenyan leaders failed on efforts to set up a local tribunal.

Kenyan media reports say the prosecutor initially planned to arrive this week, but that Kenyan leaders asked for an additional three weeks to prepare.

The African country suffered through weeks of violence following a disputed presidential election in December 2007. Critics say Mr. Kibaki stole the election from Mr. Odinga through fraud.

Former U.N. chief Kofi Annan helped mediate a power-sharing agreement that promised sweeping governmental reforms and ended the dispute.

Along with electoral reforms, the sides pledged to fight widespread corruption and reform the constitution, judiciary, and police.

In a visit to Kenya last week, Mr. Annan expressed frustration at the pace of reforms, and renewed pressure on the country to set up its own tribunal.

Mr. Annan warned that if Kenya does not tackle the root causes of last year's violence before the next election in 2012, the country could plunge into chaos again.