Hague court rejects ICJ bid to join Kenya case

May 12, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 12 – The International Criminal Court has rejected an application by the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) which wanted to be enjoined in the war crimes case against six Kenyans.

Presiding Judge of the pre-trial chamber II Ekaterina Trendafilova rejected the application filed by the ICJ, saying they are not a party to the on-going case.

ICJ had sought to be granted leave to submit observations in accordance with Rule 103(1) of the Rules.

The commission had said it would provide the Chamber with contextual and factual information on the track record of the Kenyan Government in investigating and prosecuting crimes, the effectiveness of the efforts made to establish a local justice mechanism to deal with post-election violence cases and the actual progress made so far in forming a local tribunal.

"The Single Judge wishes to clarify that thus far, the applicant is neither a party nor a participant to the proceedings, and unless the Single Judge grants leave to participate in the proceedings, in accordance with rule 103(1) of the Rules, the applicant has no procedural standing to submit any observations […] to the Chamber," Justice Trendafilova ruled.

"For this reasons, in its assessment of the Request, the Single Judge shall not take into considerations the Observations," she concluded in a ruling dated May 11.

The judge said such leave can only be permitted when the chamber finds it necessary to invite a state, organisation or a person to submit in writing or orally, any observation on any issue that the chamber deems appropriate.

"The Single Judge stresses that the Chamber will resort, at its discretion, to amicus curiae observations only on an exceptional basis, when it is of the view that such observations providing specific expertise are needed on particular topics, and subject to the Chamber\’s consideration that this is desirable for the proper determination of the case," she ruled.

The ruling was issued as the ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo revealed to defence teams of some of the Kenyan suspects evidence he intends to use in the cases facing them.

The evidence released on Wednesday is part of what the Prosecutor intends to use at the confirmation of hearings scheduled to begin on September 1 when the pre-trial chamber judges will decide if the Kenyan suspects should stand trial or not.

He only released evidence he intends to use against former Ministers William Ruto (Eldoret), Henry Kosgey (Tinderet) and Kass FM presenter Joshua arap Sang.

Mr Ocampo is yet to release evidence against Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and former Police Commissioner Maj Gen (rtd) Mohammed Hussein Ali.

The 400-page document (accessible here) that was released to the defence teams on Wednesday is mainly related to some 58 documents sourced from various human rights reports filed here in Kenya.

They include those filed by the Waki Commission which investigated the violence and the one filed by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.

Other documents that Mr Ocampo wants to rely on include the report by the Justice Johann Kriegler Commission on the elections debacle, as well as rapid gender violence assessment during the chaos.

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