ICC judges plead for calm as ruling awaited

January 18, 2012 1:57 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 18 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) is cautioning Kenyans to remain calm after the fate of the six prominent Kenyans is announced by the Pre-Trial Chamber.

In a video interview, ICC Spokesman Fadi el Abdallah said the Pre-Trial Chamber led by Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova has asked Kenyans to accept the court’s decision and restrain their actions or utterances likely to provoke tension in the country.

“The judges reiterated their appeal to all Kenyans to refrain from engaging in any actions that may endanger the security, the property or the safety of any victim or witness, and to also refrain from engaging in actions likely to raise tensions in the country,” Abdallah said.

In case the charges are confirmed, the spokesman stressed that the suspects would remain innocent until conclusion of their trial.

The Head of the ICC’s Public Affairs Unit explained; “The defendant is and continues to be presumed innocent until guilt is proven after a trial beyond any reasonable doubt.”

Not confirming the charges also doesn’t mean the end of the case, Abdallah explained, saying the prosecutor can ask the Pre-Trial Chamber to allow him to appeal against their decision.

Abdallah also said the suspects will not be under the custody of the ICC but they will have to be present during the trials.

He also said the ICC had no stake in determining if the suspects should run for political office or not.

“The question of elections and conditions for eligibility of candidates is a matter for the Kenyan Constitution and is not governed by the Rome Statute. It is up to the Kenyan authorities to give interpretation of the law,” he maintained.

If the charges are confirmed, the court may request the government of Kenya to assist in identifying assets belonging to the suspects.

He said one of the reasons is to ensure their property will be used to compensate the victims if they are convicted.

“It is a protective measure that prohibits the suspect from disposing the property and assets to ensure reparations to victims if the person is found guilty,” he clarified.

He also said the suspects do not have to travel to The Hague based court for the highly expected announcement.

According to Abdallah, if the charges are thrown out, the ICC will still continue providing security to its witnesses.


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