Ocampo lands in Kenya to nab suspects

April 1, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1 – International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo has arrived in Kenya, barely hours after he got the go ahead to pursue 20 suspects accused of having organised or funded the 2007 post election violence.

Mr Ocampo landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 4.45am aboard a Boeing 787-999 jetliner accompanied by 15 massively armed, security women – who are expected to assist him track down the suspects.

“They arrived very early in the morning and went straight to the Presidential pavilion where they were received by senior government officials and some of the country’s top security chiefs,” a highly placed source at the airport told Capital News.

Upon arrival, Mr Ocampo and his entourage inspected a guard of honour mounted by a special elite security unit based in North Horr.

Another source privy to the Prosecutor’s diary here in Nairobi told Capital News that Mr Ocampo was scheduled to hold a flurry of meetings with top government officials before he begins rounding up the suspects one-by-one.

The jet he came with will remain parked at the JKIA and will ferry the suspects back to The Hague once they are all arrested possibly within the next 48 hours.

Mr Ocampo is expected to travel to a secret location in Turkana where he will remain holed up, as his officers conduct investigations due to guarantee his safety.

“We did not expect him to come this early, given that the ruling at the pre-trial chamber was made just yesterday (Wednesday).  We are all surprised,” a source at the Prime Minister’s office who cannot be named due to the sensitivity of the matter said.

Another top official at the Office of the President said “he has certainly come to pick the suspects… he cannot have come to do any other business here.”

In the meantime, Capital News has reliably established that some of the key suspects being sought by Ocampo have already gone into hiding.

“There are those who have already gone underground, but I am sure they will be arrested because there is adequate security surveillance at the common border points, none of them will be able to flee the country,” a senior police officer at Vigilance House said and added that “even our airports are under surveillance, they cannot go anywhere.”

The investigators accompanying Mr Ocampo are however carrying sophisticated surveillance equipment which they will use to detect the whereabouts of the suspects using DNA technology and it is believed none of them will get away.

Mr Ocampo’s shock arrival in the country comes barely hours after judges at the pre-trial chamber in The Hague made a ruling, granting the Prosecutor the green light to commence a full scale investigation against top politicians and businessmen suspected to have organised or funded the post election violence which left some 1,500 people killed and 350,000 more displaced.

"The chamber, by majority, hereby authorizes the commencement of an investigation into the situation in the Republic of Kenya in relation to crimes against humanity," the court decision said in a statement posted on ICC’s website on Wednesday.


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