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ICC Prosecutor Sets December 17 Deadline for Kenya Indictments

  • Michael Onyiego

International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo delivers a speech during the opening session of Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation forum hosted by the Kofi Annan Foundation in Nairobi, 02 Dec 2010

International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo delivers a speech during the opening session of Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation forum hosted by the Kofi Annan Foundation in Nairobi, 02 Dec 2010

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has revealed indictments for Kenya's post-election chaos will be handed down in as little as two weeks.

After months of anticipation and speculation, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo answered some questions regarding his investigation into the violence that rocked Kenya in 2007 and 2008.

Speaking at a meeting hosted by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan in Nairobi, Moreno-Ocampo announced he would present his case to judges at the International Criminal Court before December 17th. "There are two different cases, each involving three individuals who have to face justice. They have to go to The Hague. Their names will be known," he said.

The targets of the Prosecutor's investigation have been the subject of wide speculation over the past 9 months in Kenya.

Two local commissions, the Waki Commission and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, have conducted similar investigations into the post-election chaos, the findings of which were sent to the Prosecutor.

But some politicians mentioned in the reports, such as Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former Higher Education Minister William Ruto have criticized those findings.

In November, Ruto accused KNHCR Chairman Hassan Omar Hassan of bribing and coaching witnesses. Ruto revealed himself to be one of the prosecutor's suspects after he flew to The Hague to provide a statement.

Critics of Moreno-Ocampo have condemned his use of these reports in his investigation and questioned the accuracy of his case. But the prosecutor hit back at his detractors. "We received information from the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and the Waki Commission. Their work was fundamental in deciding to open an investigation into Kenya. We collected new evidence, new testimonies, new videos, new documents," Ocampo says, "There are no doubts that massive crimes were committed in Kenya."

The Prosecutor also warned those he believed were tampering with his investigation.
Since Ruto's accusation against Hassan Omar Hassan, several Kenyan's have come forward in local media claiming to have been bribed by the human rights commission to give false testimony. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights admitted to providing housing to witnesses as part of its protection program, but denied paying bribes or falsifying statements.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported Ruto's Lawyer, Charles Koech, had located witnesses under the ICC protection program in Tanzania. Koech told the AP the witnesses had been coached and wished to recant their previous statements.

Moreno-Ocampo responded to the report, telling the audience not one of the people identified in the media is actually involved with his case. He then hit back at those alleging coercion and bribery. "I want to be clear. Under the Rome Statute, my office has jurisdiction to prosecute those people for obstructing justice. I heavily put them on notice."

Moreno-Ocampo is looking to try the architects of violence in 2007 and 2008 which left over 1,000 dead. In 2007, President Mwai Kibaki and then-rival Raila Odinga disputed the results of the December presidential elections, setting off two months of ethnic violence across the country. The investigation was launched in March of this year in response to Kenya's failed attempts to seek justice for the victims of the violence.

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