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).
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid