, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – The National Assembly’s Committee on Legal Affairs says it will amend the Motion seeking to withdraw Kenya’s membership from the Rome Statute that establishes the International Criminal Court.
Vice Chairperson Priscilla Nyokabi said they had a problem with the timing of the Motion whose debate kicked off on Thursday, saying the move was likely to jeopardise cases at The Hague.
The amendment will also address victims’ reparations.
“We are a bit worried about the timing of the Motion but we have proposals around amending the Motion on the floor (of the House) and we also have the proposals around the victims’ mechanism for the reparation programme and that is what we want to discuss in the afternoon,” she told reporters after the committee met.
Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso recalled the National Assembly for the historic special sitting with days to the start of the trial against Deputy President William Ruto for charges of crimes against humanity.
“This House resolves to introduce a Bill within the next 30 days to repeal the International Crimes Act (No. 16 of 2008) and that the Government urgently undertakes measures to immediately withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on July 17, 1998,” reads the Motion published by Duale.
Capital FM News learnt that the Legal Affairs Committee planned to move for the establishment of a Special Tribunal to consist of three judges, two religious leaders and a community leader.
The committee proposes to have two local judges and a foreign judge as well as mainstream churches, evangelical and Muslim faiths represented in the local judicial mechanism.
Members of the committee felt that having a foreign judge will help in convincing the international community of the independence of the tribunal which is expected to operate as a special division of the courts.
“We have to have a foreign in here, even the Waki Commission and TJRC had public confidence because people saw at least one person from outside and they believed that it does not take orders from anywhere,” a committee member said.
“Why do these people want to tell us how we should investigate our people, what if we find them not guilty of anything what will they do,” said another member.
Meanwhile, members of the opposition held a parliamentary group meeting and resolved to oppose the Motion on Kenya’s withdrawal from the ICC.
“CORD wishes Uhuru (Kenyatta), Ruto and (journalist Joshua) Sang all the best and we have confidence that they will be cleared of charges against them through a legal and judicial process under the ICC. Kenya should not withdraw its membership,” CORD leader Raila Odinga told news conference after chairing PG attended by the coalitions National Assembly members and Senators.
“CORD’s primary concern is the voiceless victims of crimes against humanity. We have resolved to stand in solidarity with the ordinary mwananchi in Kenyan society to ensure their rights are protected not only today but for generations to come.”
A member of United Democratic Forum said the Motion was misplaced and accused the Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale of misadvising the President and his Deputy on the matter.