News / Africa

ICC: 4 Kenyans to Face Trial for Post-Election Violence

Suspects: Top from left, Mohammed Hussein Ali, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, William Samoei Ruto; Henry Kiprono Kosgey, Joshua Arap Sang, Francis Kirimi Muthaura (undated file image).
Suspects: Top from left, Mohammed Hussein Ali, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, William Samoei Ruto; Henry Kiprono Kosgey, Joshua Arap Sang, Francis Kirimi Muthaura (undated file image).

The Hague-based International Criminal Court, or ICC, has ruled that four Kenyans accused of masterminding Kenya’s 2007-to-2008 post-election violence must stand trial, while charges against two other Kenyans were dropped due to insufficient evidence.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, former agriculture and higher education minister William Ruto, civil service head Francis Muthaura, and radio presenter Joshua Sang will all have their day in court.

Meanwhile, Postmaster General and former police commissioner Mohammed Hussein Ali and suspended industrialization minister Henry Kosgey are off the hook. All six Kenyans faced various charges related to the countrywide ethnic violence that followed the bitterly disputed 2007 elections in which more than 300,000 people were displaced and some 1,300 were killed.

Shortly after the ICC's announcement Monday, presidential hopeful William Ruto held a press conference at his Nairobi residence that aired on Kenyan television. At one point, he addressed his presidential competitors saying, in his words, "let us meet at the ballot."

"I have been, I am, and I will forever be a stranger to the allegations that have been made against me," said Ruto. "As a result, while a decision to confirm the charges has been made, my legal team will move expeditiously to analyze different actions that we will take as a team. I am persuaded and I am clear in my mind that it doesn’t matter how long it takes -- the truth finally will prevail and my innocence confirmed."

Kenyatta, meanwhile, said he is still planning to run for president in the east African country's upcoming elections, the exact date of which remains unknown.

ICC prosecutors had accused the six suspects of various crimes against humanity. In the cases of Ruto, Kosgey and Sang, charges included murder, deportation or forcible transfer of a population and persecution. Charges levied against Kenyatta, Muthaura and Ali included murder, deportation or forcible transfer of a population, rape, persecution and inhumane acts.

Evidence against Kosgey and Ali was ruled insufficient for trial, but the court will proceed with cases against Ruto, Kenyatta, Muthaura and Sang. Opening dates for the trials have not been set.

The ruling, which was delivered from The Hague Monday by ICC Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova, warned suspects not to engage in any behavior that could compromise their cases or the well-being of Kenyans.

"At this point, the chamber recalls its previous warning to the suspects that their continued liberty is subject to their non-engagement in incitements of violence or hate speech," she said.

She emphasized that Monday’s ruling was merely whether to go forward with the cases based on evidence and did not establish suspects’ guilt or innocence.

George Wainaina, chairman of Kenya's National Council of Non-Governmental Organizations, said he welcomed Monday’s developments, calling it a radical departure from the Kenya of the past.

"We have suffered impunity a great deal," he said. "A lot of things have been done without any thought somebody might query this. The fact that some people have been taken to court helps in curbing or bringing down impunity."

Ahead of the ICC ruling, Kenyan government authorities said they were tightening security and appealed to Kenyans to remain calm and act peacefully. There are concerns the ruling could kick up protests or new violence in the country, where many Kenyans, including some lawmakers, say the country should conduct its own trials of the post-election violence suspects.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs