Kenya PEV victims insist on The Hague

May 9, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 9 – International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo has met 30 victims of the 2008 post election violence who maintained that they want to see suspects tried at The Hague.

Mr Ocampo said most of the victims whom he had a two-and-a-half hour meeting with believe that justice will be served only if the masterminds are prosecuted at the ICC.

“It was interesting for me, I asked the victims that there is a chance that there will be judges sitting in Arusha which is close and you can go to see that (trials) ‘what do you prefer?’ All of them said ‘The Hague; The Hague is the place of justice’,” he said.

In an interview with Radio Netherlands Worldwide, the Prosecutor said although he tried to tone down their high expectations, he pledged to do his best to ensure that those culpable are punished for their crimes.

“My role is to represent the victims. We are providing them dignity; we are recognising what happened to them but I’m repeating this message to be clear; ‘don’t expect more’ but yes I will do what I promised,” he said.

At a press conference on Saturday hours after his arrival into the country for a five day visit, Mr Ocampo disclosed that he would prosecute two cases each leveled against two or three individuals who bear the greatest responsibility for the criminal activities that followed after the disputed 2007 general election.

Asked to comment on the observation that during the briefing, he seemed to be talking directly to the Kenyan people, the Prosecutor said his duty was to the citizens.

“It’s my duty. The Rome Statute says I have to take into considerations the views and concerns of the victims and the communities affected and that’s why I’m here. I came to Kenya to listen to people,” he added.

He was on Sunday expected to hold a townhall meeting with 300 people, as he moves to gather enough evidence against those linked to the violence.

He expressed satisfaction with the progress that his team has made adding that everything is going on as planned.

Mr Ocampo has vowed to make an example out of Kenya and end the culture of impunity here. He is expected to issue warrants of arrest before the end of this year.


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