Minister doubts ICC capacity on Kenya case

March 4, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4 – Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo has expressed doubts that the International Criminal Court can prosecute the 20 post election violence suspects whom the prosecutor wants to indict.

Mr Kilonzo said on Thursday that the number was too high for the court to handle and expressed doubts that the victims may never get justice.

“(Luis Moreno) Ocampo and the ICC do not have the capacity to try 20 international criminals and it will take forever,” he said.

Speaking to Capital News on phone from Geneva, Mr Kilonzo said: “The best method to get justice was a local judicial mechanism.”

“You can imagine if he has 20 names, how many other do you think there are who committed routine crimes like rape, malicious destruction of property and the like.”

On Wednesday ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo presented to the pre-trial chamber the names of political and business leaders from the Orange Democratic Movement and the Party of National Unity he wants to investigate over their role in the deadly 2008 violence.

“The 20 persons appear to bear the gravest responsibility for organising, enticing and financing attacks against the civilian population on account of perceived ethnic or political affiliation pursuant of a state or organisational policy,” he told the ICC judges.

The Prosecutor was in Kenya last November to inform the country of his intentions to open investigation into the chaos and assess the commitment of the government to deal with the suspects.

Mr Kilonzo whose idea of a local tribunal was rejected by Cabinet last year is pleading for support to reintroduce a local judicial system.

“I am prepared with a beautiful model.  I am just waiting for public support to go ahead. It is a shame that the names are before foreign judges,” he regretted.

“It is our responsibility to set up institutions that we will have confidence in.”

The ICC is currently handling the cases covering Sudan, Central African Republic, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

If Kenya is admitted for trial it will have the highest number of suspects. In the Uganda case, five suspects were identified while Sudan and CAR have three suspects.  One suspect is on trial over the Congo case.


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