, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 13 – Kenyans will not know the identities of those mentioned in the secret Waki envelope handed to the International Criminal Court just yet.
Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo said on Monday that the envelope and other supporting evidence from Kofi Annan are merely meant to help the ICC determine whether the Kenyan case qualifies for trial at The Hague. Mr Kilonzo said they agreed with Luis Moreno Ocampo two weeks ago that he would commence detailed investigations only after the government concedes that it is unable to form a local tribunal.
“My charge to him is to respect the principle of presumption of innocence. If the list leaks out as some people are suggesting, the Rome Statute will come under fire,” he said. “ Mr Ocampo has told you that he will open it, read then seal it.”
Under the said agreement the government was supposed to provide the court with more information and evidence on the violence to help it in its preliminary investigations.
“Without that envelope and the evidence Ocampo could not proceed,” said Mr Kilonzo.
The Justice Minister warned that the country would “fault the Rome Statute’ if the information was leaked out to anyone prior to credible evidence and investigations.
The court mandate covers war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. The Minister suggested that although some of the offences could be classified as crimes against humanity, the government lacked sufficient evidence.
Chief Mediator Kofi Annan last Thursday handed over the list of a handful of suspected masterminds to Mr Ocampo who was expected to open it on Monday. Mr Annan who has held onto the two documents for the last eight months has continually expressed concerns over the sluggish pace of implementing the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into the Post Election Violence including the establishment of a local tribunal.
Mr Kilonzo remained assertive that the government has not given up on a local trial. He said he was in the final stages of drafting a new law to deal with the suspects which he said would be ‘dramatically’ different from the one legislators shot down in February this year.
“I have no intention of going back to something that Parliament rejected. I will give you all the safeguards – some the country has not even thought about,” he said adding that the same would meet international standards.
The Minister spoke when he visited the Central Organisation of Trade Union’s offices. Secretary General Francis Atwoli vehemently opposed the idea of the ICC taking over the prosecution saying that the option would divide the country.
“If the Parliament doesn’t want to pass the local tribunal let the President dissolve it so we can go for elections. Let us not be held hostage by selfish parliamentarians who want to revenge on their colleagues,” he said.