, NAIROBI, Kenya, December 29 – A Civil Society Organisation now says that withdrawing Kenya from the Rome Statute will not prevent the International Criminal Court (ICC) from prosecuting those implicated in the post poll chaos.
According to the Kenya Law Reform Commission, the law governing ICC is universal and anyone violating human rights is not immune to it.
Chairperson Nancy Baraza said on Wednesday that rather than withdrawing from the Rome Statute, focus should be put on how to achieve justice and restitution for those affected by the chaos.
“There is something in International law that is called universal jurisdiction so that in matters of grave human rights abuse, you can be arrested by anybody anywhere and be tried by any government,” she said. “You cannot go killing people like in for example Muranga and maybe your government does not want to act. In such a situation should you go to Ethiopia, they can arrest you.”
She was speaking during a breakfast meeting where she emphasised the need for those found responsible to be brought to book.
“Crimes against humanity have no boundaries or borders. So assuming that we go along with the way suggested, pulling out of ICC does not exonerate a person who is guilty or suspected to have committed crimes against humanity,” she stated.
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights echoed her sentiments and said that those named by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo could still be prosecuted regardless of whether Kenya withdraws from the Rome Statute.
Speaking to Capital News from Mombasa, a commissioner at the body Hassan Omar Hassan says the withdrawal process will take a period of time in which action can still be taken on violators of human rights.
“Article 127 is very clear that the withdrawal process takes at least one year and subsequent to that, it does not necessarily affect the obligation that Kenya has to cooperate with the ICC on existing situation,” Mr Hassan said.
Mr Hassan urged Kenyans to avoid politicising the issue since it could have far reaching effects on Kenyans.
“They should divorce partisan politics. We are coming into new reforms where Kenyans want a new country and first and foremost politicians need to provide the essential leadership with more zeal,” he said.
Meanwhile, two MP’s have warned that pulling out of The Hague would complicate matters for the six post election violence suspects named by ICC prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo.
Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo and his Alego/Usonga counterpart Edwin Yinda also dismissed calls for fundraisings to support the six pursue their cases at the ICC saying it would amount to misuse of public funds.
The MPs said that the decision by a section of MP’s to pull Kenya out of ICC was totally misplaced and showed the world that the country was not committed to end impunity.
Mr Yinda termed it as absurd that some MPs could stoop that low to portray their ignorance on international treaties.
He said that Parliament was given several opportunities to come up with a local solution but it failed adding that it will not make a difference even by passing the Anti-Hague motion.
He pointed out that the more legislators pretend to help the six suspects by condemning ICC, the more they are messing up things for them.
Eng. Gumbo who was speaking in his constituency says that the fundraising for the six suspects should be channeled to helping IDPs.