Kenyan man takes Ocampo to court

September 22, 2010 12:00 am

, MOMBASA, Kenya, Sep 22 – The battle to prosecute suspects of the bloody 2008 post-election violence has taken a new twist after a Nairobi businessman sued the International Criminal Court (ICC) accusing it of operating illegally in Kenya.

Joseph Gathungu moved to the High Court in Mombasa seeking orders to stop the ICC’s operations.

Mr Gathungu argues: “The ICC’s prosecutor Moreno Ocampo’s activities of investigation and intended prosecution are not provided for in the new Constitution.”

"The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and our Constitution does not recognise the ICC as a competent court in Kenya," he said.

He contends in his affidavit that allowing ICC to operate in Kenya violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

"To allow the ICC to operate in Kenya amounts to surrender of sovereignty of Kenya to foreigners which is untenable," he said.

The case comes on the heels of Mr Ocampo’s affirmation on Monday that he was coming to the country to investigate and prosecute four to six Kenyans who bear greatest responsibility for the bloody violence, at The Hague by December.

The ICC Prosecutor said: “Before  the  end  of  this  year, my office  will  present  two cases  against  four  to six  individuals who  according  to  the  evidence,  bear  the  greatest responsibility  for  the  most  serious crimes  committed  during  Kenya’s  2007-2008  post  election violence,” Mr Ocampo said in his statement.

Mr Ocampo issued the renewed caution after Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo announced that Kenya did not need the ICC’s intervention in the Kenyan case because there was a new Constitution in place.

Mr Kilonzo was extensively quoted in Kenyan media on Monday saying that the country was able to handle the post election violence cases because of the new constitutional dispensation which came into force on August 27.


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