NAIROBI, Kenya, May 9 – The International Criminal Court says the trials of four Kenyans accused of crimes against humanity will go on at The Hague based court since a Trial Chamber is ready to start its work.
ICC Spokesman Fadi el Abdallah has told Capital FM News that the cases can only be transferred from The Hague if an admissibility challenge is successful.
“We cannot speak technically about a ‘transfer’ of cases by the ICC. The Kenyan cases are at the trial stage. However, before the opening of a trial and even after but only under exceptional circumstances and with the authorisation of the Trial Chamber that there is the possibility to challenge the admissibility of the cases based on the principle of complementarity,” Abdallah clarified.
“If the conditions for it, as specified in articles 17 and 19 of the Rome Statute are fulfilled, cases can be declared inadmissible before the ICC and can proceed before other tribunals.”
He said however it has to be the judges to decide if the cases are inadmissible before the court that they can be moved to other tribunals.
His response is a strong indication that the ICC has not paid attention to the resolutions of East Africa Community made two weeks ago which resolved to empower a regional court to try crimes against humanity.
The resolution was seen as a fresh bid to have local trials for the four Kenyans facing charges at The Hague brought to the regional court.
It was not the first attempt that Kenya has made to halt the ICC proceedings against the four.
However the court has gone on with its work. Two weeks ago Trial Chamber V elected Justice Kuniko Ozaki to preside over the cases trials against Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura, Joshua arap Sang and William Ruto.
Meanwhile, the court has also resolved that Sureta Chana will continue representing victims participating in the case against Ruto and Sang while Morris Anyah will represent victims in Muthaura’s and Kenyatta’s case even at the trial stage.
“However the Trial Chamber remains free to take any decision to regulate the legal representation of the Victims,” Abdallah said.