Time for Uhuru, co-accused to face ICC trial

March 29, 2012 7:13 pm
The date when the trials begin is not clear/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) president has constituted Trial Chamber V which will try four accused persons whose cases were confirmed for planning or funding Kenya’s post-election violence in 2008.

The Trial Chamber is composed of judges Christine van den Wyngaert, Kuniko Ozaki and Chile Obeo-Osuji of Nigeria.

“On 29 March 2012, the presidency of the International Criminal Court issued a decision on the composition of Trial Chamber V and assigned the situation in Kenya to it,” a statement posted on the ICC website late on Thursday said.

No details were provided on when the actual trials will kick off.

The suspects facing trial at the ICC include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, former Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura, Eldoret North MP William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang.

Cases against the four suspects were confirmed in January. The court however dismissed cases against two other Kenyans – Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey and former Police Commissioner Mohammed Hussein Ali for lack of evidence.

The four suspects lost appeals to stop their trials for charges of crimes against humanity at the ICC.

Read the court decisions HERE.

Below are the profiles of the three judges handling their cases.

Judge Obeo-Osuji
Obeo-Osuji was elected judge of the ICC for a term of nine years from March 11, 2012. He was elected from the African Group of States, List A.

“Judge Eboe-Osuji (1962) came to the ICC from his post as the Legal Advisor to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Dr Navi Pillay (a former Judge of the ICC), with cross-appointment as Principal Appeals Counsel for the Prosecution in the Charles Taylor Case at the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL),” reads part of his profile.

He had previously worked in various other capacities at the SCSL and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR): among them, as Senior Prosecution Appeals Counsel at the SCSL in the AFRC Case and the CDF Case, Lead Prosecution Trial Counsel at the ICTR, the Head of Chambers at the ICTR, Senior Legal Officer in Chambers at the ICTR, and Head Legal Officer in the Appeals Chamber of the ICTR.

Judge Ozaki
Born in 1956, Judge Ozaki has extensive practical and academic experience in the field of international criminal law and human rights.

She holds a Master of Philosophy degree in International Relations from Tokyo University where he graduated in 1978.

She worked for the Japanese government in a number of positions, including Ambassador and Special Assistant to the Foreign Ministry, Director for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs in the Foreign Ministry, Director for Refugees in the Justice Ministry and Specialist to the Criminal Affairs Bureau of the Justice Ministry.

From 2006 to 2009, she served as Director for Treaty Affairs for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), where her main responsibility was implementation of relevant international treaties as well as the development of domestic legislation on organised crime, corruption and terrorism; the training of judges and prosecutors in developing countries; and the establishment of the rule of law and national criminal justice systems in post-conflict regions.

Judge Ozaki also taught as a professor of international law at the Tohoku University Graduate School of Law and at other national universities, and has written extensively on international criminal law, refugee law and law of human rights.

Judge Christine Van Den
Judge Van Den of Belgium was appointed on 11 March 2009, for a term of nine years and assigned to the Trial Division.

She was elected from the Western European and Others Group of States, list A.

She graduated from Brussels University in 1974 and obtained a PhD in International Criminal Law in 1979. She was a professor of law at the University of Antwerp (1985 – 2005) where she taught criminal law, criminal procedure, comparative criminal law and international criminal law. She authored numerous publications in all these fields.

She served in the International Court of Justice as an ad-hoc judge in the arrest warrant case (2000-2002) and was elected as a judge in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia where she served for more than five years (2003-2009).


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