, THE HAGUE, Sep 21 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday warned that it still intended to pursue cases against individuals who bore major responsibility for the post election violence of 2008.
The ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said in a statement posted on the ICC’s website that he planned to present two cases against four to six individuals over the deadly chaos, which claimed the lives of over 1,300 people and displaced nearly 500,000 more.
“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,” the statement read in part.
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.
But on Tuesday, Mr Ocampo said he was confident that the government would offer him full cooperation as pledged during his visit to the country in March this year.
“President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga both expressed their support for my investigation,” Mr Ocampo said and added that his decision to file the cases was based on the authority he was earlier granted by the pre-trial chamber.
Although Mr Ocampo’s statement did not make direct reference to the latest position taken by Mr Kilonzo, it said the Justice Minister had offered the ICC full cooperation.
“Mr Kilonzo has also recently confirmed to me his personal commitment to do justice for the victims of the post election violence,” his statement said and added.“ It is our hope that the Kenyan justice system will ultimately deal with the many perpetrators that the ICC will not prosecute.”
Earlier this month, the Kenyan government signed 16 articles which allows the ICC to set up its offices in the country as the probe on the post election chaos goes on.
The agreement signed by Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula and ICC Registrar Silvana Arbia offers immunity from any legal process to ICC officials and their process.
“With the exchange of letters, the operation of our legal framework in Kenya is in place,” Ms Arbia said at the time of signing the pact.