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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid