News / Africa

Kenya Court to Rule on ICC Extradition Request

Defense attorney Kibe Mungai (l) and Walter Barasa (r) (Credit- James Shimanyula)
Defense attorney Kibe Mungai (l) and Walter Barasa (r) (Credit- James Shimanyula)
Peter Clottey
A Kenyan court plans to rule Friday on the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) extradition request for activist Walter Barasa.  The Hague-based court accuses him of interfering with witnesses. Barasa denies the accusation as without merit.

“I’m comfortable, because I deny allegations leveled against me, and much of it my lawyer has it and will [introduce] it in due course,” said Barasa.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant against Barasa, but he challenged the extradition order in a Kenyan court.

Barasa’s defense attorney Kibe Mungai accused the ICC of undermining the country’s constitution.  He says, for example, his case should be tried in Kenyan courts, and also that the ICC move violates his constitutional rights to see evidence against him.  The Kenyan Office of the Prosecutor says he can only see the information if he cooperates with the international court.

“Mr. Barasa wants the court to declare that the government of Kenya cannot oblige the request by the ICC,” said Mungai. “If he succeeds, that is the end of the story. If he also succeeds on the other part that the trial should be in Kenya, then the issue of warrant comes to an end. If he does not succeed then he may be surrendered in due cause to the ICC.”

Mungai says if the court upholds Kenya’s constitution, his client would not be subjected to extradition or to arrest by the ICC.   He said both the ICC and Kenya erred in issuing a warrant for Barasa.

“Our chances are good,” said Mungai. “The ICC has been acting illegally in this matter and the state [Kenya] has misinterpreted the law in issuing the request for surrender.”

The ICC accused Barasa of bribing witnesses in the trial of Kenya’s deputy President William Ruto. The court accuses Mr. Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta of playing a key role in the country’s 2007-2008 post-election violence that left about 1,300 people dead and tens of thousands internally displaced. Barasa denies the ICC charges.

Defense attorney Mungai says the ICC’s arrest warrant against Barasa flouts Kenya’s constitution.

“Under the laws of Kenya to implement the Rome Statute [establishing the court], the trial for those offenses is supposed to be in Kenya and even after issuing the warrant and knowing that Kenya is a signatory state, they tried to arrest Mr. Barasa unlawfully,” said Mungai. “All these issues will be raised in the Kenyan court [Friday and] I am confident that we shall succeed.”

In a related matter, the Kenyan Daily Nation newspaper quotes the ICC coordinator for Kenya and Uganda, as saying that Kenya could try Barasa if the country’s courts are equipped to handle the case.
Clottey interview with Kibe Mungai, defense attorney
Clottey interview with Kibe Mungai, defense attorneyi
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Comments
     
by: Velapi Ngwenya
October 18, 2013 9:33 AM
Now Ecoman dont be economical with the truth, there were approximately 20,000 people who lost their lives in a Southern African country in the 1980's. So before you "rock n roll" with statements, please check out the real facts.

by: Ecoman from: Nigeria
October 18, 2013 4:40 AM
Why has the ICC not arrested former U.S. President George W. Bush for crimes against humanity in Iraq? Or is it only African leaders that commit war crimes and crimes against humanity? A biased and racial ICC.

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
October 17, 2013 10:29 PM
In the summit last week in Ethiopia all African leaders exclusively expressed that ICC's targeting black African leaders is politically motivated. Unmistakeably obvious now that ICC persecutors are behaving as if they have dictatorial mandate to indict any black leader, journalist, activist or poor farmer for a mere dubious crime. This kind of attitude has to be stopped.

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