NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 9 – Lawyers representing the Civil Service chief Francis Muthaura have advised him not to record a statement with CID officers in Nairobi, who are conducting a parallel investigation to the ICC probe over the 2008 post-election violence.
His lawyers Karim Khan and Ken Ogeto argue that their client cannot face another legal process in Kenya because he had already appeared before the International Criminal Court which is investigating the same crimes Muthaura is accused of having committed.
“We have advised our client not to record a statement at the CID for obvious reasons. He cannot face two jurisdictions at the same time over the same matter,” Mr Ogeto told Capital News.
Mr Ogeto maintained that their client would not show up at the CID headquarters to be questioned by detectives who have previously interrogated Tinderet Member of Parliament Henry Kosgey and his Eldoret North counterpart William Ruto who recorded a statement on Monday.
He said if the CID insist on interrogating their client, then they had the option of waiting until the conclusion of the case at The Hague instead of making their client face two parallel legal processes over the same matter.
“We are concentrating on putting up a defence for our client at The Hague, that is why we cannot have him face two jurisdictions at the same time,” he added.
Ambassador Muthaura is accused of having allegedly planned or financed the post election violence which claimed the lives of some 1,500 people and displaced half a million others in the worst violence ever experienced in Kenya.
The Hague has scheduled a confirmation of charges hearings next month when six Kenyan suspects accused of planning the violence, including Muthaura will know if they will stand War crime charges.
Others facing charges at the ICC include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, former Police Commissioner Mohammed Hussein Ali and Kass FM radio Presenter Joshua arap Sang.
It remains unclear if CID director Ndegwa Muhoro will compel Muthaura or any of the suspects to record statements with them.
He had earlier indicated that all the Ocampo six suspects had been notified of their need to appear at the CID headquarters to record statements to facilitate an ongoing investigation into the post election violence.
The police investigations in Kenya is seen as part of the government’s wider plot to convince the ICC that it has an active local mechanism dealing with the post election violence cases which it wants to be left to investigate.
ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo has however, dismissed as a public relations exercise the investigations being carried out by the police who are seen to implement a government policy of convincing the ICC that something is being done locally to bring justice to victims of the post election violence.
Eldoret North Member of Parliament William Ruto was on Monday morning grilled by detectives at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters in the ongoing investigation.
Police sources at the CID headquarters told Capital News that Mr Ruto was driven there at about 9am and left shortly before noon.
Mr Ruto was questioned by detectives assigned the task of conducting a parallel investigations over the post election violence, in line with a statement sent by the government to the ICC, assuring it of a thorough probe into the matter by state agents.
After the grilling session, Mr Ruto sped off and declined to speak to journalists camping outside the CID headquarters.
The ICC is due to hold confirmation of charges hearings beginning September 1 at The Hague when all the suspects will know if war crime charges will be opened against them.
Last week, Mr Ocampo revealed his Documents Containing Charges (DCC) against Mr Ruto, Mr Sang and Mr Kosgey. He will release more evidence against Mr Kenyatta, Mr Muthaura and Major General (Rtd) Ali before their appearance for the confirmation of charges hearings on September 21.
He said the three attended nine preparatory meetings and events to plan on how to expel people from their communities in Rift Valley.
According to the DCC, Mr Ruto and Mr Kosgey were in charge of a network which he said had a sort of military structure that had three commanders or generals who reported to either of them.
They were further accused of providing financial and material support to the direct perpetrators and also gave them instructions to carry out the attacks.
He alleges that Mr Sang used his radio programme to give directions and also gather updates on the attacks by using hate speech and other names to refer to the people the perpetrators should have attacked.
Some 1,500 people were burnt or hacked to death and more than half a million others forcibly displaced during the crisis, which rocked various parts of the country, including Rift Valley, the worst hit by the crisis.
Efforts to establish a local tribunal to deal with perpetrators have hit a dead end after Parliament rejected three Bills seeking to try the perpetrators locally.
Despite that, the government has been keen to frustrate the ICC process after moving to challenge the principle of admissibility.