Annan disturbed by politics in Kenya ICC probe

December 4, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 4 – Chief Mediator Kofi Annan on Friday said he was disturbed by the political twist that now surrounds investigations and processes of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the country.

Dr Annan who was addressing journalists after closing the National Dialogue and Reconciliation Accord review meeting argued that the shift in focus would only worsen the complexities that the country faced in the forthcoming General Elections.

He said that Kenyans were quickly forgetting crimes that were committed during the post election violence and were now paying attention to the unfolding political scenarios.

“We are now questioning why attempts are being made to hold people to account or find justice for the victims. But shouldn’t we be worried about them? Shouldn’t we be worried about tomorrow’s victims? If we don’t speak for today’s victims, what will we do about tomorrow’s victims and who will speak for them?” he asked.

He further explained that the turn of events would also derail the country’s reform agenda.

Dr Annan added that politicians should stop politicising the ICC probe in an attempt to rally sympathy from their supporters. He observed that tribal politics was what landed Kenya into hot water in the first place.

“Some of the historical injustices would not have been repeated if action had been taken to fight impunity. Now Kenya has taken the step and hopefully we will see a different Kenya where such crimes will not be repeated; that we can have a peaceful election without worrying about casualties,” he said.

He also defended the integrity of the ICC saying it is not concerned with local politics but with the crimes against humanity that were committed in Kenya in the wake of 2008.
“As far as I know, the ICC has no interest in the Kenyan politics. It has no candidate in the elections. In fact the (2012) candidates have not even declared and I think we should not mix legal and political issues,” argued Dr Annan.
His remarks came on the day when a group of MPs allied to Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto alleged that the ICC was colluding with Prime Minister Raila Odinga to sway the 2012 elections in his favor.
The 17 law makers alleged that the ICC process had been hatched to eliminate the two and ‘create room’ for their opponent in 2012 General Elections.

They were infuriated by Mr Ocampo’s statement that the trial would go beyond 2012, and saw it as a political statement.

“Let Ocampo and his brother Kofi Annan know that if Raila is not in the list of six this country will go to the dogs,” warned Nithi MP Kareke Mbiuki a key ally of Mr Kenyatta.

Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto said: “This process is a platform for threats, witch-hunting and using the judicial process to settle political issues.”
Attorney General Amos Wako had also earlier in the day poked holes in the evidence gathered by the ICC saying it might not be enough to adequately incriminate the masterminds of the post-poll chaos.
“Let me remind you, and in the process also remind the ICC, that the Waki Commission was not sure whether there was enough evidence to meet the threshold required by the ICC or whether the evidence it had collected and which was part of the Waki report was enough,” he said.

On Thursday, the Eldoret North MP had also rubbished the ICC process terming it ‘a fraud’. Mr Ruto claimed that witnesses who were being housed by the ICC outside the country had been coached and bribed to implicate him.
“Those so-called witnesses who are being held outside the country (about eight of them), are people who were coached and if those are the people whom they want to use to distort the truth, then Ocampo and his investigations are not about justice and they are not about looking for the truth in our country. They are simply a fraud,” he had stated.


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