News / Africa

    Kenya-born U.S. Judge Outraged at Vote to Pull Out of ICC

    Kenya-born U.S. Judge Outraged at Vote to Pull Out of ICC
    Kenya-born U.S. Judge Outraged at Vote to Pull Out of ICC

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Joab Okello, administrative judge for the U.S. State of New York, spoke with Clottey

    Peter Clottey

    A U.S.-based Kenyan law expert has described to VOA as ridiculous a decision by members of Kenya’s parliament to withdraw the country from the Rome Statute following a unanimous vote late Wednesday.

    Joab Okello, administrative judge for the U.S. State of New York, also called on Kenyans to protest and renounce the decision by the legislators not to cooperate with the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).

    “I was very outraged by that move because Kenya cannot afford to be a pariah state. We are one of the most important countries in Africa and we’ve maintained that for years. And, for the parliament to pass this bill, just because six people have been indicted, is outrageous,” said Judge Okello.

    “The six individual must still answer to the ICC. What they are trying to do is protect these people so that they are not arrested. So, that means the ICC can only arrest the individuals if these individuals leave the country. But, if Kenya was a signatory, (to the ICC), then Kenya would have to arrest them if needed.”

    Recently, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the ICC, named six high-profile suspects he believed were masterminds of Kenya’s 2007 post-election violence that left more than 1,300 people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands. The suspects, Moreno-Ocampo said, would be charged with crimes against humanity.

    The six, high-profile suspects include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, who also serves as Finance Minister, Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura, former police chief Hussein Ali, suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto, Henry Kosgey, chairman of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), and Joshua Arap Sang, a journalist at a popular local radio station.

    But, in voting Wednesday, the legislators suggested that Kenya’s local judicial system should handle the cases involving the post-election violence.

    Judge Okello said that it is clear the legislators want to protect the high-profile suspects.

    “Most Kenyans that I have talked to are outraged by this move (vote), and I hope that the two principals (president and prime minister) will not sign this bill. There has to be a way to reverse this action because Kenya cannot be a pariah state,” said judge Okello.

    “I think Kenyans must express their outrage as soon as possible so that this vote is reversed. I can’t see it standing.”

    Meanwhile, a recent poll shows over 85 percent of Kenyans support the ICC prosecution of the suspects.

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora