Kenya urged to assist ICC prosecutor

November 4, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 4 – The European Union (EU) has called on the Kenyan government to cooperate with the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) who is scheduled to arrive in the country on Thursday.

The Swedish Embassy in Nairobi issued a statement on Wednesday saying the 27-nation EU bloc expected total cooperation from the Kenya Government with the ICC in ensuring justice is done and seen to be done.

Swedish Ambassador to Kenya Ann Dismorr, whose country holds the EU presidency, said the visit was a crucial step towards ending impunity in Kenya and bringing to justice perpetrators of the post-election violence.

“The European Union expects and looks forward to full and effective cooperation of the Kenyan Government with the ICC,” she said in a statement ahead of the visit by the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC Luis Moreno Ocampo.

Officials from the Justice Ministry confirmed to Capital News that Mr Ocampo was expected to jet in the country at 7am on Thursday.

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo has previously said Mr Ocampo’s main agenda would involve talks with President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to discuss means of ensuring justice for cases related to the 2007 post election violence which saw some 1,500 people killed and nearly half a million others displaced.

The civil society and victims of 2007/008 post election violence have also been holding a series of consultative meetings to come up with a joint petition they intend to present to the ICC prosecutor.

In a joint communique, they urged the Chief Prosecutor to secure the commitment of the government of Kenya to fully cooperate with the ICC and hand over all evidence, facilitate arrest of suspects and offer any other assistance required.

They also demanded the establishment of the Special Tribunal for Kenya that conforms and meets international standards. "If justice will be done by Mr Ocampo, the disbanded team that headed ECK and the Chief Justice should also be held accountable,” Okoiti Omtatah an activist said in Nairobi.

“They must all have their feet held on fire."

Meanwhile, a Non Governmental Organisation also asked Mr Ocampo to also meet other stakeholders especially the post election violence victims apart from meeting the President and Prime Minister.

Centre for Justice and Crimes against Humanity Chairman Mbuthi Gathenji said victims of the poll violence were looking forward to meeting Mr Ocampo to give their side of story.

He said they wanted justice before the next general election since there was a possibility of violence recurring if no one was punished.

Mr Gathenji said he feared that the two principles would not represent the seriousness of those seeking for justice and the real picture on the ground.

He also urged the prosecutor to push for a Sierra Leone-type of tribunal saying there was no way Parliament would support the Bill seeking to establish a local tribunal.

“From the look of things our MPs are already showing signs of their non commitment to pass the Bill.  We have no more time to waste, let us ask the UN to support us with form a special court, our MPs will not give us anything,” he said.

Mr Gathenji also asked Mr Ocampo to ensure Mr Raila and Mr Kibaki assure him of self referral to make it possible for him to conduct his investigations.

He also appealed to him to look at other lists and not only those implicated in the Waki list saying all those responsible need to be punished.


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