ICJ wants suspects tried in the Hague

July 24, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, July 24 – The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) on Thursday said police were not capable of handling cases of the post election violence.

ICJ’s boss Wilfred Nderitu said the many civil servants, including the police, were divided and polarised during the electioneering period and therefore can not be trusted to handle the cases.

He proposed that suspects of the post election violence and people who funded them be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Nderitu said many of the cases of the election violence constituted to crimes against humanity and therefore needs international attention.

“Our own security officers were polarized, they are not able to handle the cases and that is why we want them to be handled by people who were not affected in any way by the country’s politics and the violence itself,” he said when he testified at the Commission of Inquiry into the Post Election Violence (CIPEV).

He also accused the police for having used excessive force in suppressing the violence.

“We need to set up a special court or tribunal to deal with these cases of the post election violence. That is the only way they can be expedited,” he said. “What I have in mind is a hybrid system that would tap into international expertise and local expertise more or less the situation we have here at the commission where we have people from other countries helping us in the work.”

“It is the view of the ICJ that such a judicial system would help expedite cases of the post election violence and punish its financiers,” he said.

Last week, Justice Philip Waki who is chairing the public inquiry hinted out that suspects of the post election violence, particularly those who funded the organized groups would be called to testify.

He said some of them had been named during private hearings by the Director General of the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) Major General Michael Gichangi who concluded his testimony last week.

Justice Waki said the commission would first serve them with adverse notices before they are invited to defend themselves.

More than 1500 people were killed during the skirmishes sparked by the disputed Presidential elections.

Rift Valley Province was the most affected by the violence that also displaced some 350,000 people from their homes.

Many of them have since been resettled after spending more than three months at camps for Internally Displaced persons.


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