ICC Prosecutor concerned for witnesses

July 26, 2012 2:54 pm
Head of the Jurisdiction, Complimentarity and Cooperation Division at the ICC Phakiso Mochochoko/ MUTHONI NJUKI

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 26 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor has raised concerns with the Kenyan government over intimidation of witnesses in the two cases involving four Kenyans at The Hague.

Addressing a news conference in Nairobi on Thursday, Head of the Jurisdiction, Complimentarity and Cooperation Division Phakiso Mochochoko said the court is concerned over continuing intimidations to witnesses.

“The threats continue and maybe there will be even more threats as we get to trails. Those threats must stop. The government of Kenya and the ICC will work together to make sure those people threatening witnesses are brought to book,” he asserted.

He said though the prosecution witnesses were out of the country, their families and others perceived to be ICC witnesses were being intimidated.

During his meetings with the Attorney General and the Cabinet sub Committee on ICC matters, together with Associate International Cooperation Adviser Shamiso Mbizvo the official discussed matters of cooperation in which Kenya assured of commitment to support the court.

Mochochoko further said that the court is investigating a ‘good number’ of individuals intimidating witnesses including those who are allegedly doing it on social media.

He also clarified that the court’s focus was on Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, Francis Muthaura and Joshua arap Sang who are due for trial next April.

On the issue of referring cases from the ICC, Mochochoko said right procedure will have to be followed as he explained that establishing an African Union court was not automatic that cases would be refered.

He said the Kenyan cases will not stop until the judges make a decision, “The cases in Kenya will not go away, and the only end to the cases will come once the judges have made their final decision.”

He spoke ahead of a visit by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda who is expected in the country soon.

It will be her first time in Kenya since she succeeded former Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo.

Fatou has indicated that work will continue as before and her commitment is to ensure victims access justice and also end impunity.


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