News / Africa

As Ruto Trial Resumes, Kenya Debates ICC Future

Kenya Debates ICC Future as Ruto Trial Resumesi
X
October 04, 2013 12:32 PM
Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto is back at his trial at the International Criminal Court after returning to Kenya following the Westgate mall attack. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow reports Kenyans remain divided on whether the court is acting in the interest of the country, as lawmakers move to withdraw Kenya from the court’s jurisdiction.
Related video report by Gabe Joselow
Gabe Joselow
Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto is back at his trial at the International Criminal Court after returning to Kenya following the Westgate mall attack. Kenyans remain divided on whether the court is acting in the interest of the country, as lawmakers move to withdraw the country from the court’s jurisdiction.

Nairobi’s so-called "people’s parliament" meets every day in the city’s parks to discuss matters of national interest.

High on the agenda is the resumption of the ICC case against Deputy President William Ruto, for his alleged role in the violence that followed the 2007 election.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is due at the ICC in November to face similar charges.

Members of this informal group have mixed opinions about the role of the court.

Salim Muganga is among those who think the ICC is a useful institution for finding reconciliation.

“ICC is about truth and justice.  Simple and clear.  We are here to stay in ICC because we have to know more about truth and justice, what happened in 2008,” he said.

Or has the court outlived its purpose?  That’s what Wilberforce Onyango believes.

“The reason we had to go to ICC at that time was because our judicial system was not competent enough.  But now that we have a constitution with a clear provision creating a supreme court with a mandate similar to that of the ICC -- the need for Kenya to continue being a member has already been overtaken,” said Onyango.

The case against Ruto was briefly suspended to allow him to deal the terrorist attack on a Nairobi shopping mall.

The crisis highlighted concerns about the president and the deputy’s ability to effectively govern while having to appear regularly at The Hague.

While they have pledged to cooperate, their administration has been pushing for the court to drop the case against them, or to refer it back to Kenya.

Attorney General Githu Muigai said even if lawmakers vote to withdraw Kenya from the ICC, it will not affect the cases against Kenyatta and Ruto.

“So it has nothing, I assume, to do with the present cases at all.  In those cases, the persons involved have declared openly, several times, that they will continue to work with the court until the cases are resolved,” he explained.

In a new twist, the ICC prosecutor unsealed an arrest warrant this week for former Kenyan journalist Walter Barasa, accused of bribing witnesses in the Ruto case.

Professor Edward Kisiang’ani at Kenyatta University in Kenya said the new charges could be damaging to Ruto’s defense.

“If it is, for example, discovered that Barasa was doing something with the knowledge of the deputy president or people close to the deputy president, then you know, a new case could be opened,” he said.

The country is still waiting to see whether Kenyan judges will act on the arrest warrant for Barasa.

That decision will be a key test of the country’s willingness to continue to cooperate with the ICC.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid