Concurrent ICC rulings in Kenya cases urged

September 1, 2011 2:59 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 1 – A local civil rights organisation said on Thursday that the International Criminal Court (ICC) should deliver its ruling on the two cases against six Kenyans simultaneously.

Kituo Cha Sheria Chief Executive Officer Priscilla Nyokabi said the court should take notice that any major decisions coming could have an impact and delivering a verdict on different days is likely to cause tension.

“The ICC should work with the locals so that during such announcements there is heightened security in places known to be on the tipping point. The ICC should consider releasing those decisions together so that we only have one day of worrying about the ICC,” she explained.

Conformation of charges hearings against Radio Presenter Joshua arap Sang, Eldoret North MP William Ruto and Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey all from the Rift Valley Province started on Thursday.

Ms Nyokabi has in the meantime praised The Hague based court for having managed to go as far as to the confirmation of charges hearing stage.

“We are happy that the process has gone this far. And also because we wanted the fight against impunity to proceed and those accused of the greatest responsibility are brought to book.

She said whether the court managed to convict some or none of the Ocampo six, “people now know they have to be accountable for their actions.”

The fact that the ICC is an international court and is perceived as independent, the lawyer noted that the decision it made after the confirmation hearings will be fair enough. Ms Nyokabi further believes ICC Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo will present strong convincing evidence that will see the pre Trial chamber send some cases to full trial.

“The court will follow the rules and procedures.  We don’t think any person will have tampered with the process. We will be sure the rule of law will have taken its course,” she added.

Ms Nyokabi whose organisation has dealt with some of the victims of the 2008 violence also feels that the ICC process has granted the victims some hope of justice.

Although she appreciates the court’s positive gesture of fighting impunity, she regretted that should there be any convictions, it will be a shame that Kenya will have some of their own jailed in foreign countries.

“We don’t want to have a country that has prisoners in other countries,” she explained.

“If they get convicted where do we want them to be imprisoned? If I were them I would be asking the court can I be jailed in Nairobi, or maybe in Kampala, some nearby place where relatives can come to see me, if you are imprisoned so far away, you are finished!”

The lawyer further commended the Ocampo Six have for cooperating with the court saying that they all have heeded its directions and appeared whenever required.

She hopes Kenyans have learnt through the process and that violence will not be a recipe in future elections.

“It is a question of rule of law… that politicians agree in this country that we will not have violence as part of elections.  We have elections where people fight for power, but we don’t kill voters. If we get into that agreement, we can say ICC is helping Kenya,” she concluded.


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