It is crucial to break the cycle of impunity and violence

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FATOU BENSOUDA

I wish to extend my sincere thanks to the people and Government of Kenya and in particular President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga for the warm welcome, and the traditional Kenyan hospitality extended to me and my delegation for this visit.

I am especially grateful for the support of the Kenyan Government for the organisation of the complex logistics and security arrangements of this visit – not my first to Kenya, but my first as ICC Prosecutor.

On Tuesday, I met with President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga at the Office of the President. It was a fruitful and constructive exchange of views. I conveyed my Office’s concerns regarding delays in the Government’s response to a number of OTP requests related to our investigations.

They assured me of their willingness to ensure timely and effective execution of the pending requests and instructed the Attorney-General and the Cabinet Sub-Committee to facilitate expeditious responses to my Office’s requests.

My meeting with the President and Prime Minister was followed by a meeting with the Cabinet Sub-Committee which was also attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Attorney-General and other officials. The meeting focussed on the specific requests, the dates they were submitted and the nature of the information requested.

In both meetings with President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga as well as with the Cabinet Sub-Committee, I stressed that time is of the essence given that our final list of evidence is due on 9 January 2013. The submission of this evidence is essential for giving the Defence a fair trial.

I expressed my strong desire to receive all the requested information by the end of November 2012 to enable me to comply with my obligations to the Defence. I was assured by the Committee that they will take appropriate steps to ensure that I am provided with the information without delays.

I also reiterated my concerns regarding witness intimidation and the increasing climate of fear affecting those perceived to be ICC witnesses, their family members, as well as those perceived to be associated with the ICC. We agreed that witness intimidation is unacceptable and that both the Court and the Government of Kenya have a responsibility to investigate and punish anyone who intimidates or tampers with witnesses.

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  • baraza

    Every sane person in Kenya and all over the world wants to see justice done for the victims of PEV. The violence that was visited on the victims was callous, unprovoked and unjustifiable. However, why is ICC not interviewing the real victims to understand what really happened but relying on evidence from unaffected parties? Isn’t this a ground for hearsay among others?
    Why is ICC depending on evidence from partisan sources? Even a few letters from Odm’s big wig apparently informs part of their understanding of PEV.

    Whose justice is ICC seeking? Raila’s Odm’s? The coaxed witnesses?

    They should come out clean and state for all to know. Hiding behind “seeking justice for victims” isn’t washing going by the way they are dealing with the real victims.

  • carsema

    Please forbear the ignorance that my query exposes, yet am driven to ask & comment as follows….. How were the accused confirmed for full trial with OTP having such huge gaps of information that it has to plead with GoK to release it to them? Would it not have been easier to accept GoK formally as a friend of the court in order to facilitate the info required by OTP? GoK appeal to be friend of the court was repulsed by Prosecutor Ocampo and Judge Ekaterina. Trial evidence threshold is much higher than confirmation hearing evidence threshold. Why would a government in pursuit of sovereign interests share info with OTP when OTP has shown such disdain and disrespect for it in the first place?

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