ICC probe in Kenya edges closer

November 2, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 2 – Investigators from the International Criminal Court are expected to meet Justice Kalpana Rawal and officials from the State Law office on Wednesday to finalise plans to start interrogating security chiefs in the country.

The meeting will be held at Anniversary Towers in Nairobi, where the sessions will be held.

An official who was among those expected at Wednesday\’s meeting told Capital News that the gathering would start at 10.30am.

"It is basically a meeting where the ICC will give us the names of the people to be interrogated and what exactly is required from them," the official said.

Justice Rawal had on Friday told journalists that she was prepared to oversee the Provincial Police chiefs and Provincial Commissioners record statements at the ICC probe, but was waiting to be given the names of those expected to be questioned.

The Judge had said she was expecting communication from the ICC with the names of the officials to be questioned.

She had said she was also expecting a secretariat to have been formed by Wednesday to enable her team start work.

Lawyers hired by the government and individual government officials to be questioned will also attend the meeting on Wednesday.

One of the lawyers retained to represent the security chiefs Ken Ogeto told Capital News that they expected to agree on when the hearings should start.

"We are meant to understand it will be an all-inclusive meeting where a consensus will be reached on when the hearings should start," Mr Ogeto said.

Justice Rawal has pledged to protect Provincial Police chiefs and PCs scheduled to start giving evidence to the ICC.

Justice Rawal told journalists last week that she would ensure that none of the security chiefs giving evidence incriminated themselves.

"If I think that the question that is being asked is not supposed to be asked I can even stop and I can advise the witness that he is not supposed to answer that question," she said.

"Nobody will be forced to do things which are not allowed by the law.  It will be a just and fair process of taking evidence," Justice Rawal told journalists after meeting lawyers and officials from the State Law office at the Anniversary Towers last week.

Most of the sessions will be done in-camera apart from instances where they will be done in public, Justice Rawal said.

The ICC had indicated it was interested in questioning at least five Provincial Police chiefs and PC\’s who were in office before and during the post election violence of 2007/08 after the disputed Presidential election.

They include PC Ernest Munyi (Coast), Abdul Mwasera (Western), Hassan Noor Hassan (Rift Valley), James Waweru (Nairobi) and Paul Olando (Nyanza).

The Provincial Police chiefs who were in the office at the time include Grace Kaindi (Nyanza), Everett Wasige (Rift Valley), King\’ori Mwangi (Coast), Francis Munyambu (Western) and Njue Njagi who was in Nairobi at the time.

The police chiefs and PCs have retained competent lawyers to avoid incriminating themselves in the post election violence cases which is picking up momentum by the day.

"The witnesses have counsels who will represent them but they will all be with us because I am not deciding on any anything," Justice Rawal said.

The ICC is investigating the cause of the violence that rocked the country in 2007/08, leading to the deaths of over 1500 people and displacement of some 500,000 others.

ICC Prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo has said he was targeting those who bore the greatest responsibility for the atrocities that were committed.

He has indicated he will be putting up two to three cases against some six individuals whose indictments are expected to be announced before the end of the year.


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