News / Africa

    Criticism, Obstacles Mount as Prosecutor Prepares Kenyan Case for Hague

    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
    Michael Onyiego

    Kenyans are anxiously waiting for suspects to be named in the International Criminal Court's landmark investigation into the country's post-election chaos. But as prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo prepares to present his case to The Hague, setbacks and criticism in Kenya threaten to derail the trial.  

    There are less than two weeks left until Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo's indictment deadline of December 17 expires and Kenyans across the nation are waiting to see which among the country's political and business elite will be named.

    But more than a few observers in Kenya are now wondering whether or not the prosecutor's case will stick. There have been several legal challenges since the beginning of the investigation in March, and the most recent will see Mr. Ocampo present his case without crucial testimony from Kenya's police.  

    On Tuesday, Kenyan Justice Kalpana Rawal again postponed scheduled testimony from police officials, after they issued an official request to the ICC for immunity from prosecution for their statements.  Rawal was clearly frustrated in making the decision, and called into question the last-minute timing of the request.

    The prosecutor has stated on multiple occasions that his only targets in the violence probe were those deemed "most responsible for the violence."  Last week in Nairobi he directly dismissed police fears they would be used as a scapegoat.

    "We are working with Lady Justice Rawal to interview some police officers.  They are not - they are not - under investigation.  They are called as witnesses," he said.

    But the security chiefs are not convinced.  Required to cooperate with the ICC investigation under Kenyan law, they successfully delayed their testimony after arguing that a Kenyan judge should be the one to take the statements.  After Justice Rawal was appointed, police officials again stalled proceedings, demanding their questions be given in advance of the testimony.

    In Tuesday's ruling, Rawal said testimony would resume by December 20.  Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo last week promised to present his case before the 17th, meaning he will be without the testimony of the security chiefs.

    Local investigations into the post-election violence in 2007 and 2008 found the Kenyan police played a critical role in allowing the violence to spread and, in some cases, the killing itself.  Perhaps their most important function is helping to establish the veracity of alleged "shoot-to-kill" orders issued by senior members of the Kenyan government.


    Also plaguing the ICC process are allegations from Kenyan politicians the indictments have been designed to affect the outcome of the 2012 presidential elections.  Chief among these politicians is former Higher Education Minister William Ruto.

    Ruto is one of the dominant political forces in Kenya's Rift Valley, where much of the post-election violence took place. He recently revealed himself to be a suspect in Moreno-Ocampo's investigation and has hit back against his critics during the past month, accusing many, including the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights of falsifying evidence against him.

    Kenyan Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka stood by Ruto at a rally over the weekend.  Musyoka told supporters that certain people were determined to see Ruto "sink" before the 2012 election.

    On Tuesday, the European Union's chief diplomat in Nairobi Eric Van Der Linden defended the ICC investigation and warned politicians against inflammatory statements.

    "The ICC process is an independent legal process.  Politicians should resist attempts to politicize and ethnicize the process," he said.

    More than 1,000 people were killed and more than 300,000 displaced after the disputed 2007 presidential election.  President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga accused one-another of fraud after the vote, setting off two months of ethnic violence countrywide.

    Despite the criticisms and allegations being thrown at him, Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo has assured Kenyans he has enough evidence to prosecute six high-profile Kenyans in two separate cases.  He says he will target the masterminds of the violence.

    What remains to be seen is how Kenya's leaders react when the suspects are revealed.  Both President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga have pledged their full support for the ICC and for now the Court's detractors are on the outside looking in.  

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora