, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) Pre-Trial Chambers is expected to give a ruling on the Kenyan situation on Wednesday.
A source told Capital News that the judges will either accept or reject ICC Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo’s application to commence investigations into the 2008 post-election violence.
If he gets the go ahead, Mr Ocampo will launch investigations to establish the main suspects out of the list of 20 he handed over to the chamber when he was asked for more evidence last month.
Kenyans have been expectantly awaiting the judges’ answer amid complains that the court was taking too long raising people’s anxiety. Mr Ocampo has been determined to file a case against the Kenyan perpetrators while the government remains non committal in the formation of a local tribunal.
The judges’ ruling will take the Kenyan situation to the second stage, according to the ICC procedures.
Should there be a case, Kenya will enter the second phase which will be investigations followed by issuance of the arrest warrants or summons, then enforcement of arrest warrants and surrender of suspects to the ICC.
Owing to the fact that the ICC has no police, it entirely hopes suspects will surrender themselves or the affected countries will cooperate and arrest suspects. This has been the worst dilemma for the ICC since governments – most of who are signatories of the Rome Statute – have failed to help in the arrests.
Once the suspects are apprehended, the initial appearance at the court is next followed by the confirmation of charges then a trial.
After the trial, sentencing is issued and it is at that point that suspects can appeal.
Looking at the process, Kenya still has a long way to go (probably several years) should Mr Ocampo get the go-ahead to act.
On Saturday, International Centre for Transitional Justice head Njonjo Mue urged Kenyans to manage their expectations after the ruling since ICC processes are not immediate due to the kind of crimes committed.