ICC judges given list of 20 Kenyan suspects

March 3, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 3 – International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has handed over a list of 20 senior political and business leaders from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), and the Party of National Unity to judges at the ICC.

A statement from the ICC says: “The 20 persons appear to bear the gravest responsibility for organising, enticing and financing attacks against the civilian population on account of perceived ethnic or political affiliation pursuant of a state or organisational policy.”

“The Prosecutor provided the ICC Judges with a list of the most serious criminal incidents, and a selected list of 20 names of persons who appear to bear the gravest responsibility for these crimes. Both lists are contained in confidential annexes,” the statement added.

The statement further said that the leaders from both PNU and ODM were guided by political objectives to retain or gain power.  

“They utilised their personal, government, business and tribal networks to commit the crimes. They implemented their policy with the involvement of a number of State officers and public and private institutions such as Members of Parliament, senior government officers, the police force and youth gangs,” Mr Ocampo told the judges.

The statement indicated that the names were identified after different investigations into the 2007-2008 post election violence, which were contained in reports by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and the Waki Commission which was investigating the violence.

“At this stage, the names are indicative only” said the Prosecutor. “The allegations concerning the named individuals will have to be measured against the evidence gathered independently by my office. If the Judges authorise the investigation, I will engage those who wish to clarify their role or provide further information.”

The Prosecutor also reported to the judges that none of the named individuals had faced justice in Kenya for the crimes committed after the failed establishment of a local tribunal to deal with perpetrators of the violence.

Kenya has also not been keen to take court action against powerful individuals over the atrocities committed during the post election violence.

The Prosecutor requested an expedited decision by the judges because, in his words, both the victims and those defined as suspects need justice.

International Centre for Transitional Justice Head Njonjo Mue earlier told Capital News that it would be mandatory for Mr Ocampo to give an update of any investigations the Kenya government may have done since he applied for permission to come and investigate the Kenyan perpetrators.

“As you know the ICC is the court of last resort and therefore if the country is investigating the particular crimes then the ICC will not come in, so Mr Ocampo must show no progress has been made so far,” he said.

Mr Ocampo was asked by the Judges two weeks ago to provide "clarification and additional information in the process of assessing whether or not to authorise" a full investigation.

The prosecutor had in November asked judges to allow a full-scale investigation into the violence in which 1,500 people were killed.

Mr Ocampo said at the time that he would focus on "those who bear the greatest responsibility, those who organised, planned and supported the attacks.

The court wanted more detail on the specific incidents and individuals to be probed, as well as the status of any domestic investigations.

Mr Mue said: “Mr Ocampo gave information showing not only crimes against humanity occurred but also that they were carried out pursuant to a policy of either the state or a particular organisation, he will have to indicate the persons involved.”

The lawyer also said the names given to the judges would remain confidential until investigations are carried out.

After the additional information given by the Prosecutor on Wednesday, he said the judges will still continue checking whether the atrocities committed in Kenya warrant the ICC intervention.

Kenya still has to wait for the judges to give a go ahead before Mr Ocampo starts any investigations.


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