Countdown for the Ocampo Six

April 6, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 6 – Four of the Ocampo Six suspects who travelled to The Hague to make an initial appearance at the International Criminal Court spent the better part of Wednesday familiarising themselves with rules and regulations of the court.

Former Police Commissioner Mohammed Hussein Ali who arrived in The Hague on Tuesday night was joined on Wednesday morning by Eldoret North MP William Ruto, his Tinderet counterpart Henry Kosgey and Kass FM presenter Joshua arap Sang who left the country on Tuesday night.

The Head of the Public Service was due to arrive in the Netherlands on Wednesday evening.

“Four of the suspects are already here, they arrived safely and have been going around to familiarise themselves with this place,” an official accompanying one of the suspects told Capital News from The Hague.

“This includes getting to know which entrance they will use to enter the court, where they will sit and what they will be required to do while in court, all these are very important matters which have already been addressed,” the official said.

Lawyer Ken Ogetto who is teaming up with other advocates to represent Head of Civil Service Ambassador Francis Muthaura said:  “Most importantly there is the issue of familiarising themselves with the rules and procedures of the court. This has been going on ahead of the court appearances set for Thursday and Friday.”

“Our client is well prepared and we are all prepared for the task ahead,” he said but did not provide details of his client’s travel arrangements.

Mr Muthaura left the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Wednesday morning but did not address journalists who had camped at the airport since 6am.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta who is also the Finance Minister was scheduled to depart for The Hague on Wednesday night.

Security officials at the airport told Capital News that the Gatundu North MP was booked on a 10.30pm flight.

“He will be leaving tonight… his flight arrangements have been confirmed,” the source said.

Already some of the Members of Parliament loyal to him and some of his aides are already in The Hague having travelled on Tuesday.

Government Spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua said that on arrival, all government officials would be received by the Kenyan Ambassador to The Hague.

"Private accommodation has been organized for them by the Embassy," he said in a brief statement. Confirming their arrival at The Hague an aide to one of the suspects said the MPs were received by Embassy officials Joan Muchoki( Third Secretary – Political) and Edwin Ochieng who ensured that they were comfortable.

Messrs Ruto, Kosgey and Sang are scheduled to appear at the ICC court on Thursday at 10.30am Kenyan time while Messrs Uhuru, Muthaura and Ali will appear on Friday at 2.30pm.

A statement on the ICC website states that the Thursday and Friday appearances will be held in order to “to verify the identity of the suspects and to ensure that they have been informed of the crimes which they are alleged to have committed as well as of their rights under the Rome Statute -founding treaty of the ICC.”

A statement posted on the ICC website said “On Friday, at 14:30 (Dutch time, the initial appearance hearing of Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Mohammed Hussein Ali is scheduled to take place before Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Courtroom I.”

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