40 MPs to give Uhuru shoulders to lean on

March 31, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 31 – All the 40 Members of Parliament who want to travel to The Hague in the company of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto have now been granted visas by the Dutch Embassy in Nairobi.

Charles Keter, a key ally of Mr Ruto has told Capital News that the legislators from the political divide will be travelling to the Netherlands early next week to \’provide moral support to the six.\’

Mr Ruto, ODM Chairman Henry Kosgey and Radio presenter Joshua arap Sang are expected to appear before the court next Thursday while Mr Kenyatta, the Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura and former Police Commissioner Major General (rtd) Mohammed Hussein Ali will appear a day later.

"We are going in solidarity… this people are our friends.  That moral support is required by anybody," he said.

Speaking after picking up the first 20 visas, the Belgut MP said they expect the six to be exonerated by the ICC process.

He confirmed that Mr Ruto, Mr Kenyatta and Mr Kosgey had already received their visas.

The six were named by ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo on December 15, last year as the most responsible for violence that tore through Kenya at the end of 2007 and at the beginning of 2008, after the country\’s general elections. The violence left over 1,500 dead and more than 500,000 displaced.

Another set of MPs who applied for the visas are expected to pick theirs on Friday.

MPs Charles Keter, Joshua Kutuny, Jeremiah Kioni, Mithika Linturi, David Koech, Maison Leshomo, Peter Mwathi, Chachu Ganya, Mohamud Sirat, Assistant Ministers William Cheptumo and Kazungu Kambi are among those on the trip.

Meanwhile Mr Sang says he will leave for The Hague on Tuesday and return back to the country on April 10. He said he is yet to hear from The Hague on his request for financial assistance.

His lawyer Kimutai Kosek protested the move by the Dutch embassy to grant him a visa that restricts movement within EU countries saying that it was absurd for the mission to allege that his client would try to seek asylum.

All six suspects have been given visas which are only valid in Luxemburg, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Speaking at the embassy, Mr Sang said his visa was valid for 22 days but had been restricted to seven days.

Meanwhile, the Embassy in Nairobi has clarified the Ocampo Six will be allowed to ferry themselves from the airport to their hotels once in the Netherlands, and will not be under any control of Dutch authorities.

First Secretary Political and Press affairs Camilla Veerman said all the six suspects had been issued with normal visas that allow them to travel around Netherlands.

She however said the visa does not allow them to travel outside that country.

Other individuals who have applied for visas to attend the hearings scheduled for next Thursday and Friday will also be given the normal visa as opposed to Schengen visas that would allow them to travel to all EU countries.

Ms Veerman said they are being issued the normal visas because the purpose of the visit is specific.

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