Rule 68 to be debated as Kenya secures its ASP agenda items

November 17, 2015 2:13 pm
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Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said application of Rule 68 adopted during the 12th ASP has been violated/FILE
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said application of Rule 68 adopted during the 12th ASP has been violated/FILE
THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Nov 17 – Kenya has managed to secure all its agenda items for discussion during the 14th Assembly of States Parties that gets underway in The Hague on Wednesday.

Kenya managed to push through its proposals at preparatory meetings ahead of the opening of the ASP meeting, and it is expected that the contentious Rule 68 will kick off debate.

It means a letter written by ICC President Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi, ICC Registrar Herman Von Hebel and Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Monday was not taken into account.

They had written to the Assembly of States Parties meeting warning it against interfering with the running of the court in any way.

In a joint statement to ASP President Sidiki Kaba, the three warned that separation of powers of the Rome Statute system requires the ASP to refrain from any action that interferes with the judicial independence, or creates a perception of interference.

The trio said the appropriate forum to discuss and contest judicial matters is in the judicial proceedings before the court.

The three said the court was concerned that a number of issues have been proposed for discussion in the upcoming session which relate to matters clearly within the judicial and prosecutorial competence of the court.

In the letter, they said that some of the matters up for discussion are under active consideration before the ICC chambers, hence sub-judice.

Jubilee Coalition MPs had earlier dismissed the letter objecting to discussions on Rule 68, saying it was an attempt to interfere with Kenya’s right to fight injustice.

Kenya wants the 14th Session of the ASP to discuss the use of recanted witness statements following amendments to Rule 68, which it argues was not to be used retroactively.

Kenya also wants an audit into the sourcing of witnesses by the International Criminal Court in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said application of Rule 68 adopted during the 12th ASP had been violated.

The CS who is leading the Kenyan delegation argued that although the country was obligated to the Rome Statute that establishes the ICC, that commitment must be reciprocated.

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