, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 14 – Leader of the Majority in the National Assembly and Jubilee attack dog Aden Duale on Thursday went on the defensive in response to a statement made by Opposition leader Raila Odinga to France 24, on the vacating of the crimes against humanity charges Deputy President William Ruto was facing before the International Criminal Court.
In a diatribe delivered to the press in his National Assembly office, Duale accused Odinga of being two-faced by congratulating Ruto on one hand and then going on to state that the vacating of the charges “spells doom” for “international justice.”
“He was the same one who sent a congratulatory message after the charges were vacated now that he’s outside the country he’s changed his tune and revealed his true feelings.”
In an interview with France 24 on Tuesday, Odinga said the ICC trial chamber that vacated the ICC charges against Ruto and former radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang had set a dangerous precedent.
“The accused persons must be celebrating, they’re happy because they were not tried; therefore they were not found guilty.”
“But I’m saying to the international justice it spells doom because basically it means that anybody can be accused and if you can find a way of interfering with witnesses by intimidating witnesses, by killing witnesses for example, then you get scot-free.”
He also described as “hogwash” President Uhuru Kenyatta’s insistence in a preceding interview with France 24 that the ICC had targeted African countries and they thereby needed to “pull out” as a signatory to the Rome Statute.
“Most of the African cases before ICC were referred there by the African leadership themselves. You have (Charles) Taylor who while in exile in Nigeria put on a plane to ICC, in the case of Jean-Pierre Bemba the complainant is the DRC. General (Laurent) Nkunda was put on a plane by (Paul) Kagame.
“Likewise the Kenyan cases, we refused to set up a tribunal forcing Kofi Annan to send the envelope to the ICC. In other words it is Kenya which refused and which preferred that its people should be taken to the ICC. Museveni (Yoweri) himself has asked the ICC to try (Joseph) Kony.”
Regardless, Duale like President Kenyatta was adamant that Kenya must not continue to “subjugate” itself to the Rome Statute should the African Union’s demands on the court fail to be met.
An AU Ministerial committee on April 11 listed its demands on the court as: immunity for heads of state and senior government officials, a reduction of the ICC Prosecutor’s powers and, “recognition for primacy to African judicial mechanisms and AU decision making organs over the ICC.”
They also resolved that: “Having terminated the cases of Kenya’s Deputy President and Joshua Arap Sang, the Committee felt it was unhelpful to pursue warrants of arrests that may have been issued on some other Kenyans.”
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