ICC Six will not be trailed at The Hague

March 31, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 31 – Six suspects summoned to appear at the International Criminal Court on Thursday and Friday next week have been assured that they will have freedom of movement while in the Netherlands.

Contrary to reports in two local newspapers, the First Secretary in charge of Political and Press Affairs at the Netherlands Embassy Camilla Veerman clarified that Visas issued to the suspects would not restrict them, in any way while at The Hague.

"The visa enables the six to visit the Netherlands without restrictions, and to appear in court as summoned," Veerman said in a statement sent to newsrooms on Thursday.

Some media reports quoting embassy officials had suggested that the suspects would be assigned special security officers to monitor their movements once they land in Amsterdam.

"In the Netherlands, there will be complete freedom of movement, and no special security arrangements will be applied," she added.

Those summoned to appear in The Hague include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of the Civil Service Amb Francis Muthaura and Postmaster General Hussein Ali who served as police chief at the time of the 2008 post election violence.

Others are suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto, Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey and Kass FM Radio Presenter Joshua arap Sang.

Mr Ruto, Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang are required to appear on Thursday while Mr Kenyatta, Mr Muthaura and Mr Ali have been ordered to appear on Friday.

The six were summoned following a majority ruling reached by ICC Judges last month.

The Judges observed that there is evidence to show that the six were criminally responsible in organising or funding the election violence which broke out in the country before and soon after the disputed Presidential Elections which led to the killing of up to 1,500 people and displacement of half a million others.

The statement from the Embassy said Visas for the six suspects had been approved and were ready for collection on Thursday afternoon.

"The Netherlands as host country to the ICC, underlines its commitment to facilitate the visit of six individuals to The Hague to comply with the summons to appear at the ICC," part of the statement stated.

"The six have been informed that their visa can be collected today (Thursday)," it added.

Some of the suspects had claimed that the Embassy was "taking too long to approve their visa applications."

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