It is crucial to break the cycle of impunity and violence

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FATOU BENSOUDA

I wish to extend my sincere thanks to the people and Government of Kenya and in particular President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga for the warm welcome, and the traditional Kenyan hospitality extended to me and my delegation for this visit.

I am especially grateful for the support of the Kenyan Government for the organisation of the complex logistics and security arrangements of this visit – not my first to Kenya, but my first as ICC Prosecutor.

On Tuesday, I met with President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga at the Office of the President. It was a fruitful and constructive exchange of views. I conveyed my Office’s concerns regarding delays in the Government’s response to a number of OTP requests related to our investigations.

They assured me of their willingness to ensure timely and effective execution of the pending requests and instructed the Attorney-General and the Cabinet Sub-Committee to facilitate expeditious responses to my Office’s requests.

My meeting with the President and Prime Minister was followed by a meeting with the Cabinet Sub-Committee which was also attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Attorney-General and other officials. The meeting focussed on the specific requests, the dates they were submitted and the nature of the information requested.

In both meetings with President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga as well as with the Cabinet Sub-Committee, I stressed that time is of the essence given that our final list of evidence is due on 9 January 2013. The submission of this evidence is essential for giving the Defence a fair trial.

I expressed my strong desire to receive all the requested information by the end of November 2012 to enable me to comply with my obligations to the Defence. I was assured by the Committee that they will take appropriate steps to ensure that I am provided with the information without delays.

I also reiterated my concerns regarding witness intimidation and the increasing climate of fear affecting those perceived to be ICC witnesses, their family members, as well as those perceived to be associated with the ICC. We agreed that witness intimidation is unacceptable and that both the Court and the Government of Kenya have a responsibility to investigate and punish anyone who intimidates or tampers with witnesses.

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