Kenyans warned on ICC decision

March 29, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29 – International Centre for Transitional Justice Head Njonjo Mue has urged Kenyans to manage their expectations after the International Criminal Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber gives a ruling on the Kenyan situation at the end of the week.

He told Capital News that the answer could be either affirmative or negative and either way, Kenyans should not overreact.

“The people definitely have waited for two years to see justice, therefore they would be excited for some positive news, but understand it is a process that takes time, even if it is a go-ahead, people should manage their expectations,” he said.

He said should he get approval, the Prosecutor will launch investigations by collecting evidence and interviewing victims and witnesses, a process that will take time.

He noted that Luis Moreno Ocampo had a list of 20 suspects whom he intends to investigate to find out their engagement in the post election violence in 2007/2008.

“He has only been given permission to investigate, he is not being given permission to arrest anybody because everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, which has to be after investigations, and that is the next step,” Mr Mue explained.

He further warned Kenyans against speculation as the ICC will not disclose the suspects until it has established their liability in the violence: “The Prosecutor knows who he is investigating, even at the stage of indictment; the judges can issue sealed indictments against particular individuals who are not named publicly.”

Mr Mue appealed to the government and Parliament to prioritse the Witness Protection Bill since apart from the ICC trials, a local process will also be expected to start to deal with other perpetrators charged with smaller crimes.

He said alleged threats of violence and incitement after the court ruling should not deter the ICC from pursuing justice and asked the international court to go ahead with or without threats of violence, for the sake of justice.

“This country is very violent anyway, and if we don’t do anything about the violence in 2007, we are sitting on a volcano. If there is no process that brings justice, we are just postponing the inevitable, I would much rather have the rule of law take its course and risk the fall out,” he said.


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