, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 16 – All the six suspects facing cases before the International Criminal Court have formally received summonses ordering them to appear at The Hague court in the Netherlands on April 7..
Lawyers representing former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali and Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura confirmed that their clients were formally served with the summonses late on Tuesday while Radio presenter Joshua arap Sang said he received his papers on Wednesday morning.
"I have formally received the summons… they were brought here by a police officer and I have looked at them. My position remains the same, I will comply and make an initial appearance there on April 7th," Mr Sang told Capital News at the Kass FM offices.
Speaking soon after he received the summonses, Mr Sang appealed for financial assistance from the ICC to enable him meet the travel and accommodation fees during the visit.
Mr Katwa Kigen who represents suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto who is accused of funding and organising the violence also confirmed that his client had been formally served.
"Yes we have received the summonses and we are preparing to respond accordingly," Mr Kigen told Capital News on telephone.
Tinderet Member of Parliament Henry Kosgey\’s lawyers said their client was also served on Wednesday.
"My client received the summonses this morning and we are looking at them," lawyer Julius Kemboy who represents Mr Kosgey said.
An official at the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed too that he had received the summonses from the police.
Capital News independently learnt that the process of issuing the summonses was being coordinated by Senior Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr King\’ori Mwangi who personally served most of the suspects on instructions of Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere.
Mr Iteere was ordered by Attorney General Amos Wako to ensure all the six suspects are served accordingly as required by law.
A senior police officer at Police headquarters told Capital News that the summonses were sent to the commissioner\’s office on Tuesday afternoon.
It\’s understood the AG\’s office received the summonses from The Hague on Monday, barely a week after the pre-trial chamber judges issued the order.
On Monday, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo held a teleconference with Kenyan journalists and raised concerns over the continued stay in office by Ambassador Muthaura whom he fears may interfere with the case.
Mr Ocampo is concerned that Mr Muthaura\’s continued stay in office where he oversees national security matters was a serious threat to The Hague case. "We want to be sure that should Mr Muthaura remain in power, he has no power on the police service," Mr Ocampo said.
The ICC Prosecutor said he would write to the Kenyan government this week seeking assurance that Mr Muthaura who chairs the National Security Advisory Committee did not have any influence over the law enforcement agencies.
The Prosecutor said he was apprehensive that Mr Muthaura could influence his work when he embarks on taking testimonies and seeking witness protection in the ongoing investigation surrounding the 2008 post election violence.
As the head of the National Security Advisory Committee, Mr Muthaura\’s roles include monitoring and advising the Cabinet Security Committee and the President, constantly reviewing threats to security, designing and preparing a national security plan and contingency strategy.
As the head of the civil service, he is also tasked with giving guidance and directions to provincial and district security and intelligence committees in dealing with security matters.
Mr Ocampo said: "We want to be sure the police will not be protecting his interests."
"Before we disclose to the Kenyan police about witnesses in Kenyan, we should be sure the Mr Muthaura is not on top of the police," he added.
Mr Muthaura was named by the Prosecutor in his list of six suspects on the basis that he ordered the police to protect Mungiki militias in retaliatory attacks against supporters of the Orange Democratic Movement.
Follow the author on http://twitter.com/momanyibernard