Ocampo writes to Mutula over Kenya visit

October 10, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 10 – International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo has written to Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo, to officially request audience with President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Sources say the letter follows an earlier telephone conversation between the two.

The move comes in the wake of the end of a deadline given to the government by the ICC to establish a special tribunal to try the post-election violence suspects.

Mr Ocampo’s visit will come hot on the heels of that by Chief Mediator Kofi Annan last week, who spent three days in the country to establish the pace of reforms in the country.

Early this month, Mr Kilonzo said Ocampo was at liberty to start prosecutions over the post-election violence.

At the time, Mr Kilonzo said the government would support the ICC in its work and said he was ready to arrange an official visit for Mr Ocampo into the country.

"I have just written a response to his letter and I am going to have a phone conversation with him later today," he said in an interview on October 1.

In a previous letter to Mr Kilonzo, the prosecutor had expressed desire to start consultations with the Minister on the way forward after the lapse of the deadline.

Mr Ocampo has revealed he was adopting a three-prolonged approach in which the ICC would deal with the key planners and financiers while other suspects would be handled by a local tribunal and the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission.

The ICC had given Kenya until September 30 to show progress setting local mechanisms of trying the suspects.

The Cabinet however in July rejected a second attempt to establish a water tight local tribunal dashing any hopes of a local solution to the crisis.

Earlier in February Members of Parliament had rejected the tribunal claiming that it would be open to manipulation by the executive.

The President and Prime Minister have already opened up to the idea of having those behind the atrocities of the post election violence tried at The Hague.


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