AG now tears into Ocampo’s evidence

December 3, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 3 – Attorney General Amos Wako is now poking holes into the evidence gathered by the International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo saying it might not be enough to adequately incriminate the masterminds of the post-poll chaos.

Mr Wako, who made reference to the fact that the Waki Commission could also not make conclusive findings to indict anyone, said the challenge to marshal enough proof would be a daunting task to the Prosecutor.

The AG who spoke at an ICC complementarity workshop by the civil society however maintained that he supported the ICC process as it would complement any local mechanisms put in place to hold those responsible to account.

“Let me remind you, and in the process also remind the ICC, that the Waki Commission was not sure whether there was enough evidence to meet the threshold required by the ICC or whether the evidence it had collected and which was part of the Waki report was enough,” he said on Friday.

He further argued that the Waki Commission had recommended further investigations into the violence as it did not have enough confidence in its report.  

“At page 17 of the Waki report, it states and I quote ‘…it (the report) may even fall short of the proof required for international crimes against humanity. We believe however that the commission’s evidence forms a firm basis for more investigations on the alleged perpetrators’,” he noted.

On Thursday Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the ICC should not just probe those who are suspected of planning the violence but should also hold those behind the botched election responsible.

But Mr Ocampo distanced the ICC from the proposal, saying that responsibility lay solely with the Kenyan government.

“We are not investigating the elections. We are not analysing the political responsibilities. We are not making in judgment on the political parties. We are investigating the murders, rapes, forced displacements, which constitute crimes against humanity,“ said the ICC Prosecutor.

The ICC has also time and again said that it was not relying on evidence collected by any third parties, but evidence which it had independently collected.

But then on Friday a group of MPs allied to Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto alleged that the ICC was colluding with the PM in order to sway the 2012 General Election in his favour. But the ICC has not yet responded.

Mr Wako also called for the establishment of an independent directorate of criminal investigations to assist any special tribunals conduct their works especially in the collection of evidence.

“The setting up of this directorate should be urgent and should be done on a priority basis. Without this, the Director of Public Prosecution however competent and the Judiciary however independent, will be of no use in removing the culture of impunity,” he said. 

The Attorney General also observed that although Kenya had the Witness Protection Act, its implementation remained a challenge largely due to the lack of funds.

“We asked for half a billion shillings but we only got Sh20 million but we will discuss this issue with the Finance Ministry to see if we will get any head way,” he said.

Mr Wako added that he was still pursuing an appeal against a police officer who was acquitted in a case in which he had been charged with shooting and killing a civilian during the post-poll chaos.



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