Ocampo targets three Kenyan suspects

May 8, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 8 – International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has promised to finalise investigations into the post election violence in the next couple of months, and expects to indict two to three suspects by the end of this year.

Mr Ocampo told a Press conference soon after arrival in Nairobi on Saturday morning that the bulk of investigations in two main cases will be conducted from scratch and go on for about six months.

“We are collecting evidence and we have no one yet as a suspect for us,” he said and added. “We cannot rely from statements collected by Non Governmental Organisations.”

He promised those who have been accused by local commissions and who suspect they are on his watch list that he would give them audience to defend themselves.

“We are pleased to receive documents from the commissions and we will use them but we will have to collect our own evidence.” he said.

The ICC delegation, he said, would meet victims but was quick to state that they have not started collecting evidence from witnesses yet.

“We will just listen to all the victims who come to us, to understand them,” he said.

The Prosecutor insists he will use Kenya as an example in the world that crimes against humanity must be punished and ensure that the 2012 elections are peaceful.

“In the next one and half years there are about 15 elections in the Africa and we have to be sure that these elections are peaceful. Kenya has to send a signal that if you commit crimes you go to The Hague,” he said.

Mr Ocampo said he would work with the government to ensure the protection of potential witnesses but was quick to state that “this is the responsibility of the government and I will not replace the Kenyan government.”

“Protecting people does not mean we put people in different locations,” he said while defending his record. “I can tell we have conducted investigations for the last five years and none of our witnesses have been affected, and I would wat to keep that record.”

The Prosecutor said he was happy with the government’s commitment to assist him carry out his work. He reiterated that collaboration from state agencies was critical but again put a disclaimer: “They are not the only source of information. We collect this from different sources.”

“To arrest people the government will be critical but again this depends on the way the suspects behave. Should they present themselves, then I don’t have to issue (arrest) warrants,” he added.

Mr Ocampo is in the country for a five day visit as the ICC launches investigations into the deadly 2007-2008 violence that left 1,133 people dead and displaced another 600,000.

The ICC judges gave the Prosecutor the go ahead to start investigations in March after his December application. He had submitted a list of 20 prime politicians, government officers and businessmen he plans to investigate on their role in the violence.



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