Local ICC probe kicks off Nov 24

November 3, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3 – Senior police officers and Provincial Commissioners who served in volatile areas during the post-election violence will start giving evidence to ICC officials in Nairobi on November 24.

Justice Kalpana Rawal who was appointed by the government to help the officials testify before the International Criminal Court investigators in October, told journalists the statement-taking would be done in-camera at Anniversary Towers.

"We have agreed that I shall be able to issue the summons to all the requested witnesses on or before 8th of this month," the judge said on Wednesday.

She said she intended to send summons to 10 officials whom the ICC officials were interested in questioning.  Each official will testify for two to three days.

Justice Rawal said the ICC had given her a summary of the process it was undertaking regarding the officials to be questioned.

She did not disclose the names of those to receive the summons but knowledgeable sources told Capital News they include five Provincial Commissioners and five Provincial Police Officers who served in areas worst hit by the 2007/08 post election violence.

These areas that were identified as the most volatile include Nairobi, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Western and Coast Provinces.

"We will hold most of the sessions in-camera because of the sensitivity of the matter we are handling," she said after a meeting with ICC detectives, lawyers representing the witnesses and officials from the State Law office.

Those present at the meeting held at Anniversary Towers included Chief Public Prosecutor Keriako Tobiko, lawyers Evans Monari, Ken Ogeto, Gerishom Otachi among others.

Representatives from the Internal Security Ministry also attended the meeting that lasted about two hours.

"I can tell you that this is not really a trial… I am only supposed to assist the witnesses so that the ICC gets the facts because of the tragic incident that occurred in our country," Justice Rawal said.

She warned journalists against publishing the names or identities of the ICC investigators.

"We will have to be very, very careful.  The ICC\’s identification is a very, very private thing," she said.

"If anybody makes any kind publication about the identification of the ICC officials they will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

"I am giving you the direction not to divulge the identification of any of the ICC officials."

The ICC investigators are interested in questioning Provincial Commissioners and Police chiefs who were at the helm in five provinces at the time chaos erupted, leading to the deaths of some 1,500 people and displacement of 500,000 soon after President Mwai Kibaki was declared winner in the disputed elections of 2007.

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo has indicated he will pursue two to three cases – on crimes against humanity – which seek to nail at least six prominent personalities in the political, security and business class who could be indicted by the end of this year.


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