Muigai wants 3 sought by ICC over witness meddling tried locally

April 21, 2016 1:04 pm
Shares
Attorney General Githu Muigai says his office will write to the ICC Prosecutor to request the files and other documents for the three to be prosecuted within Kenya's jurisdiction/FILE
Attorney General Githu Muigai says his office will write to the ICC Prosecutor to request the files and other documents for the three to be prosecuted within Kenya’s jurisdiction/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21 – The Government of Kenya on Thursday announced plans to write to the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecution to request for files and evidence against three Kenyans wanted by The Hague based Court for witness tampering.

Attorney General Githu Muigai said the ICC is obliged under the Rome Statute and in exercise of the principle of complementarity to assist member states conduct local prosecutions.

Overview
  • Attorney General Githu Muigai said the ICC is obliged under the Rome Statute and in exercise of the principle of complementarity to assist member states conduct local prosecutions.
  • According to Muigai, Kenya cooperated with the ICC and it expected the court to as well cooperate to assist Kenya in prosecution the three nationals.
  • Journalist Walter Barasa, lawyer Paul Gicheru and Philip Bett are wanted by the ICC for alleged witness interference in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and Journalist Joshua arap Sang which collapsed on April 5.

“Kenya reserves her right under the Rome Statute to demand respect for the principle of complementarity and moving forward, without prejudice to the ongoing cases, shall be engaging the ICC in seeking the handover of the investigations files, evidence and requisite information to support the preferring of charges and subsequent prosecution of the three accused locally,” he stated.

According to Muigai, Kenya cooperated with the ICC and it expected the court to as well cooperate to assist Kenya in prosecution the three nationals.

Journalist Walter Barasa, lawyer Paul Gicheru and Philip Bett are wanted by the ICC for alleged witness interference in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and Journalist Joshua arap Sang which collapsed on April 5.

Gicheru and Bett were arrested by Kenyan police in July 2015 and were presented before a judge of the High Court of Kenya following the warrant of arrest issued by the ICC judges in confidentiality.

READ: Lawyer among 2 arrested over ICC witness tampering

Muigai said Kenya was not opposed to instigate a process to follow up on the allegations made by the ICC.

“The Government of the Republic of Kenya is committed to ensuring that justice is done in respect of any allegations of impropriety against the defence or prosecution witnesses, or indeed any of its citizens and persons within its jurisdiction.”

So far the three have appeared before Kenyan courts following warrant of arrests issued by the court.

Barasa’s case is now before the Court of Appeal in which he is challenging the ICC’s decision to issue a warrant of arrest against him.

READ: Barasa ICC appeal fails to kick off

Even without the International Crimes Division (ICD) of the High Court of Kenya, Muigai said, Kenya has the capacity to deal with the cases against the three.

In his view, the crimes stated under Article 70 of the Rome Statute were also ‘so minor within the scheme of the Rome Statute that they ought to be tried within the domestic courts.’

Muigai also explained President Uhuru Kenyatta’s utterances while at a rally in Nakuru last week in which he said no Kenyan will ever be subjected to the ICC process.

According to Muigai, the President meant that the country had undertaken “fundamental changes within Kenya’s domestic law such that it will never be necessary for any personas to be tried overseas.”

Some of the measures undertaken, Muigai explained, was the launch of the ICD “in the ‘coming weeks.”

He said the ICD will address Post Election Violence related issues and also focus on prevention.

Shares

Latest Articles

Most Viewed