Hasten the international crimes division, Kenya urged

November 29, 2013 8:51 am
Samuel Kobia (l) is heading the JSC team on the International Crimes Division. Photo/ CAPITAL FM
Samuel Kobia (l) is heading the JSC team on the International Crimes Division. Photo/ CAPITAL FM

, THE Hague, Netherlands, Nov 29 – Kenya has been urged to hasten the process of establishing a special division at the High Court to deal with middle-level perpetrators of the 2008 post-election violence.

Legal justice experts at the just concluded Assembly of States Parties in The Hague said the International Crimes Division (ICD) will help compliment the work done by the International Criminal Court.

Attorney General Githu Muigai says it is part of the Kenya government’s efforts to support the ICC.

“The government is committed, to putting up all necessary structures in place to guarantee justice for all, the ICD is one of them,” the AG said.

Once established, he said, the court will among other things try small and medium level perpetrators.

Samuel Kobia, who heads the Judicial Services Commission’s five-member committee responsible for outlining the ICD’s responsibilities told the forum, says they will accelerate the process of setting up the court.

“We hope it will start taking shape from January next year when we will start putting up structures in place,” he said.

Harvard University Law professor Alex Whiting said that once established, Kenya will be seen to have enhanced its cooperation with the ICC. But for this to succeed, “there must be political goodwill.”
“We have not seen enough cases prosecuted locally for middle level perpetrators of the post-election violence,” he said,

Dr Pascal Hector, Director International Law at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany which is funding the ICD said cooperation a project aimed at

“This division is crucial because it will help deal with middle level perpetrators and other international crimes, we need greater capacity building to achieve this,” he said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy Uhuru Kenyatta and journalist Joshua arap Sang are facing crimes against humanity charges on accusations of orchestrating the 2007-8 post election violence.

They all deny the charges, with the trial of Ruto and Sang already underway in The Hague while that of the president is scheduled to kick off on February 5 next year.

The just concluded assembly of states parties has approved the amendment of rules of procedure and evidence, effectively making it possible for the Kenyan leaders to be represented by their lawyers after a spirited plea by the African Union and Kenya.


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