Concerns mount for victims in ICC case

September 9, 2011 9:14 am
A camp for internally displaced of the PEV

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 9 – A group of civil societies under the aegis of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Coalition have asked the government to address issues affecting post-election violence victims that were raised at the just concluded hearings at The Hague.

International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) Programme Officer Christine Alai said on Friday that the concerns raised before the Pre Trial Chamber by Legal Representative for Victims Sureta Chana were serious and require immediate attention.

“We are concerned about the plight of the victims and continue to agitate for the government to take its rightful obligations. Victims have a right to reparation and this is the obligation of the government,” Ms Alai asserted.

She said the government should demonstrate its cooperation with the ICC, and insisted that providing security to the victims was one of the steps of living to its promise of supporting the process.

At the same time, Human Rights Watch Researcher for Africa Division Neela Ghoshal said the government had not compensated all the victims as expected.

She further alleged that there was no political will to carry out local investigations despite the government claims before the ICC.

She further reminded the government that the ICC process was not reason to forestall a local probe to deal with other perpetrators that the court is not prosecuting.

She said the government should act on the 3,000 cases filed in Kenya relating to the post-election violence to help victims find closure with the tragic happenings of 2007/2008.

On Thursday, during the concluding remarks at the confirmation of charges hearings, Belgut MP Charles Keter was accused of allegedly calling Kass FM from The Hague, telling people that he knew who had betrayed the suspects appearing before the court.

Ms Chana told the court that a field officer in Kenya e-mailed to alert her that Mr Keter had made allegations that he knew the identity of one of Mr Ocampo’s witnesses, ‘witness number six’.

But Mr Keter later denied the accusations.

“I am a politician and I am entitled to my own opinion here in The Hague, at home and anywhere in the world. I will never keep quiet, I will never be threatened,” he told reporters outside the ICC in The Hague.

Mr Keter added: “I want to say the issue of witness number six and witness number eight are in the public domain on what they said… I don’t know their names. I know them as they have been identified in court documents.”

The MP who is at The Hague accompanying Eldoret North MP William Ruto, suspended Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey and radio journalist Joshua Sang said he planned to challenge Ms Chana’s allegation at the court.

“The tapes are there (with KASS FM) they know the dates, the timing. Whoever wrote the email be kind enough I am still here at The Hague. You can send the tape at The Hague, I am ready to be arrested here,” he said.

“If you are fearing, I want to tell you go to the nearest police station with that information; so that when I get home over the weekend the first thing will do is go to the police to record a statement to that effect, “Mr Keter added.

The defence teams of MPs William Ruto, Henry Kosgey and Radio Presenter Joshua arap Sang during the confirmation of charges hearings alleged that the prosecution was using ‘career witnesses’ and ‘self confessed criminals’.

The confirmation hearings for the first three ended on Thursday. The Pre-Trail Chamber gave the defence up to October 24 to give written submissions of their observations and the prosecution up to October 30.

The court will then have up to 60 days to make a decision if the cases will proceed to trial.

Confirmation of charges hearings in the other case involving Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Civil Service Chief Francis Muthaura and former police Commissioner Hussein Ali are due to begin on September 21.


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