Ocampo: I am not playing politics

April 11, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11 – International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo says the ongoing Kenya cases at The Hague is not a political witch-hunt and that he will keep his promise on securing justice.

While acknowledging a petition by the Kenyan Government challenging the admissibility of the case against the six individuals he cited as chief architects of the 2008 post-election violence could derail his efforts, the Argentine pledged to pursue the matter to the end.

Mr Ocampo wants to indict Deputy Prime Minister, Uhuru Kenyatta, suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, Post Master General, Maj Gen (Rtd) Mohammed Hussein Ali, former Industrialisation Minister, Henry Kosgey and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang with masterminding murder, rape and forced displacement.

"These crimes were planned; nothing was spontaneous at the beginning. We have evidence that meetings were held in Eldoret and the leader was Mr Ruto with Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang in all the meetings," the prosecutor told K24\’s Senior Anchor, Jeff Koinange at The Hague.

"Mr Sang\’s work was to give signals to those on the ground on when to start the attacks. Mr Ruto planned it for two years assuming there would be fraud in the elections to clean the Rift Valley of Kikuyu and those who were not supporting him," the prosecutor added.

Mr Ocampo pointed out the evidence was already before court.

"There was a massive operation to attack Kikuyu planned by Mr Ruto, Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang and I have to prove it. The reaction by people in Government the next day was not pre-planned," he explained.

"Mr Kenyatta offered to support Mungiki to attack while Mr Muthaura gave instructions to a lot of Mungiki to do it and the judges have also accepted this and we have to prove this in court and protect our witnesses."

Mr Ocampo said he would soon travel to the country to assess the measures in place to protect witnesses while disclosing none of those he has line-up to testify against his accused were residing in Kenya at the moment. He met Attorney General, Amos Wako in The Hague last week for discussions on the matter.

"The fact that Mr Kenyatta and Mr Mathaura were involved in the whole programme was really worrying me and even the Chamber said everyone is afraid of that. But I have zero witnesses in Kenya and I\’m an independent part of Kenyan judicial system."

Asked whether his case was a political witch-hunt tailored to lock some potential 2012 presidential candidates from the running, Ocampo responded;  "It is true this (2008 post-election violence) happened, everyone knows in Kenya it happened and it was planned by these people. The victims are in the middle of this scenario, some of the people are displaced and some of the women raped did not receive assistance."

"That is the missing part that I want to show everyone. If I was a leader in Kenya, I have to protect people. In Kenya, what happened was supporters of one political group committing crimes and the government reacting by committing other crimes. It is the way Kenya is divided, not my invention."

He cautioned the accused who returned to the country on Monday against interfering with the process stating; "When we say something we do it. (If you) threaten the witness, I will call for arrest."

The prosecutor stressed the appearances of the six at the ICC pre-trial chamber to answer their summonses had proven top leaders could not get away with impunity and his pledge to make Kenya an example was on track.

"I have evidence and it\’s okay if they prove otherwise. If they show me I\’m wrong, I have no problem with them. It\’s in the best interest; I love Kenya and her vibrant society, with free media."

"The country has the capacity to make agreement; we need big leadership to move forward. I like the fact they have good lawyers and it will be a good trial since we like legal battles."

He added: "Ivory Coast is crazy, Kenya managed to stop the conflict and they are an example of the world, they had to be proud of it but more leaders should be taking care of the victims."

Mr Ocampo disclosed that he had no evidence linking the two coalition government Principals, President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga and hailed them for their corporation in seeking justice for the victims.

The prosecutor said administering justice to other perpetrators of atrocities in the violence that claimed 1,500 lives and left 500,000 displaced was the responsibility of the Kenyan people either through their justice system or a truth and reconciliation process.

More ominously for the six charged, Mr Ocampo stated, "I have never lost a case and even if I leave the ICC Court, my partners will continue."

The Argentine who will vacate the position of ICC prosecutor at the middle of next year added: "I wish to be invited for the inauguration of the next Kenyan president after peaceful elections. Even if it is Mr Uhuru or Mr Ruto, since I have nothing personal against them."  Follow the author at http://twitter.com/KarolBaghEEH



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