, NAIROBI, Jan 23 – The International Criminal Court on Monday confirmed charges against four Kenyans over the country’s deadly 2007/08 post-election violence that killed at least 1,100 people.
Charges were dropped against two other suspects.
Herewith short profiles of the indictees:
WILLIAM SAMOEI RUTO:
William Ruto, 45, is an MP for Eldoret North and was a top leader with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) of Prime Minister Raila Odinga when the disputed 2007 election ignited the violence.
The ICC describes him as a “principal planner and organiser of crimes” against supporters of President Mwai Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU).
The young and ambitious politician, who has since fallen out with Odinga and was suspended from government in 2010, is considered the top political leader of the Kalenjin tribe.
He is accused in several reports of inciting, planning and financing the violence and is notably alleged to have said that non-Kalenjin residents in his area should be uprooted and burnt.
One of the most vociferous politicians on the Kenyan scene, the father of six comes from a humble background and once sold peanuts on the roadside to supplement his family’s income.
He is a declared candidate for the upcoming presidential election, due to be held by March 2013 at the latest. He dismisses the allegations against him insists he is still a contender in the upcoming election.
UHURU MUIGAI KENYATTA
Uhuru Kenyatta, 50, is Kenya’s finance minister and deputy prime minister. He is one of the country’s most powerful and richest men. Forbes magazine lists him as the 26th richest person in Africa. Kenyatta also intends to run for the presidency.
In a report by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights he is accused of attending meetings in early 2008 to plan for retaliatory violence by his Kikuyu community.
The US-educated son of Kenya’s founding president, Jomo Kenyatta, he is considered the top political leader of the Kikuyu, Kenya’s largest tribe. His first name means “freedom” in Swahili.
The ICC prosecution found he had mobilised the Mungiki — a sect-like Kikuyu criminal organisation known for skinning and beheading its victims — to attack ODM supporters.
FRANCIS KIRIMI MUTHAURA
Francis Muthaura, 65, was and still is the head of Kenya’s public service, secretary to the cabinet and chairman of the national security advisory committee.
He is considered an eminence grise of Kibaki’s PNU and held several ambassadorial posts under former president Daniel arap Moi.
Muthaura is believed to have been included on the ICC list as a result of reported meetings which took place at State House. Kenyatta attended the same meetings, according to ICC documents.
According to findings by the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence known as the Waki Report, the meetings were used to plan revenge attacks by Kikuyus around the towns of Naivasha and Nakuru.
JOSHUA ARAP SANG
Joshua arap Sang, 36, is a presenter with the vernacular radio Kass FM and the only one of the six suspects who is not a public official.
The young radio host presents a popular breakfast show called Lenee Emet, “What’s Happening in the Nation,” in his his local Kalenjin language.
The KNCHR report accused him of using his show to mobilise and plan for violence and of inciting violence by branding those “who did not vote with the rest of the Kalenjin community traitors.”
He vowed to challenge the ICC’s ruling that there was sufficient evidence against him to go to trial.