Kenyan jurists rap Kalonzo mission

March 11, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11 – The Kenyan Chapter of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has insisted that the government should set up a Local Tribunal to deal with a larger majority of the post election violence perpetrators.

Chairman Albert Kamunde said this would be the first step in also ensuring the success of the shuttle diplomacy being undertaken by seeking a one-year suspension of ICC cases.

“Unless Kenya is able to demonstrate that the ICC process will pose a threat to international peace and security, I do not think shuttle diplomacy is going to bear any fruit,” he emphasised. “The court is going to proceed and as you can see, the court is proceeding with its processes.”

He pointed out that currently, there was no tribunal in place and this would hamper the diplomacy efforts being undertaken by the government.

“The government will have a good case if they are able to demonstrate on the ground that they have formulated a process to deal with the cases,” he observed. “As it is now, there is no local tribunal which has been formed to deal with the issues relating to the post election violence.”

Mr Kamunde stated that the ICC process should be allowed to proceed to allow for justice to take place.

“The way forward is for Kenyans to give the ICC a chance to deal with the matter and also to hope that the government will come up with a tribunal to be able to deal with the other perpetratrators since there are only six who are going to the Hague,” he explained.

The US meanwhile has emphasised the need for perpetrators of the post-election violence to be held accountable for their actions to end the culture of impunity and help ensure future peace and stability in Kenya.

A statement from the US Embassy stressed the need for Kenyan leaders to cooperate fully with the ICC probe and remain focused on implementing the reform agenda.

While making no judgment as to the guilt or innocence of those summoned by the Court, it stated that America does not support the move to defer the ICC case.

The US added that should Kenya establish a credible domestic mechanism, and begin proceedings against the individuals who are the subject of the ICC Prosecutor’s application to the court, the Rome Statute has specific procedures to address such matters.

The International Criminal Court had warned that the government\’s plans to challenge the admissibility of cases filed against six Kenyans at The Hague will be unsuccessful because no local judicial mechanism is in place.

The Outreach Unit of the International Criminal Court (ICC) advised that such plans can only succeed if persons accused are facing similar charges at the local courts.

The government earlier announced that it planned to challenge the admissibility of the cases facing six Kenyans at The Hague and the jurisdiction of the court after the pre-trial chamber judges issued summons against the suspects accused of planning or financing the post-election violence.

The Outreach Unit of the ICC has launched the Kenyan TV series \’Ask the Court\’ where it seeks to explain the frequently asked questions about The Hague process now that suspects have been summoned to appear on April 7.

Those required to appear at The Hague include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of the Civil Service Ambassador Francis Muthaura, suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto and Tinderet Member of Parliament Henry Kosgey who stepped aside to face charges of abuse of office.

Others are former Police Commissioner Mohammed Hussein Ali and Radio presenter Joshua arap Sang of Kass FM.

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