ICC may try post poll violence suspects

July 4, 2009 12:00 am

, THE HAGUE, Jul 4 – The International Criminal Court will bring to book perpetrators of Kenya’s worst election violence which claimed some 1,500 lives if they are not punished here, the court’s prosecutor said Friday.

"If there are no national proceedings, we’ll do it," Luis Moreno-Ocampo told AFP after meeting with Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo.

"The crimes allegedly committed in Kenya after the 2007 elections may fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC and warrant investigations and prosecutions," he said.

"There are serious allegations of crimes against humanity committed during the post-electoral period," he added.

Some 1,500 people were killed in a matter of weeks following presidential polls in December 2007 in which the then opposition chief Raila Odinga accused President Mwai Kibaki of having stolen the vote.

Mr Odinga is now prime minister under a power-sharing deal.

The government has yet to act on the recommendations of its own inquiry last October that a special tribunal be set up to try those thought responsible.

In June, former UN chief Kofi Annan called for Kenya to set up a special court to try suspects by August, or have them face justice before the ICC.

The same month, Amnesty International accused the government of having done nothing to end the impunity enjoyed by police and security forces for abuses they carried out during the post-electoral violence.

The ICC is the world’s only independent, permanent court with the jurisdiction to try genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.


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