Now Ruto wants ICC judges to block Ocampo

December 9, 2010 12:00 am

, The Hague, Dec 9 – Eldoret North MP William Ruto on Wednesday filed an urgent application before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, seeking to block Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo from pushing ahead with his intended case against some six prominent Kenyans over the 2008 post election violence.

According to the application, filed by his lawyer Katwa Kigen, Mr Ruto believes he stands to suffer irreparable harm should the Prosecutor decide to present a criminal case that includes his name before the ICC judges.

He says in the application that having been adversely mentioned by the Waki and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights reports that were relied on by the Prosecutor to obtain authority from the ICC pre- trial chamber to investigate Kenya’s post election violence, he has reasons to believe that the Prosecutor may have formed an opinion that he could be a suspect.

Mr Ruto says that there is no way the Prosecutor can claim to have conducted his own investigations, considering that the agreement between the ICC and the Kenya Government granting the ICC investigators status, immunities and privileges and authorising them to operate in Kenya was signed in September 2010, yet from as far back as April 2010, the Prosecutor had started writing to “suspects” including Mr Ruto and requiring them to explain what they know about the post-election violence of 2007-2008.

He argues that it appears the Prosecutor was relying on the investigations of others rather than his own to identify witnesses, thereby violating the law.

The main grounds for Mr Ruto’s application filed through lawyer Katwa Kigen in the Hague are that:

(a) The Prosecutor has failed to conduct his own independent, fair and impartial investigations as required by the law, instead he continues to rely on and publicly defend the reports compiled by others.

(b) The Prosecutor has failed to comply with article 54(1) of the Rome Statute to investigate both incriminating and exonerating evidence equally, by particularly refusing to investigate the veracity of claims made under the oaths and statutory declarations Act to the effect that witnesses were induced, coached and compromised to implicate Mr Ruto with the post-election violence of 2007-2008. Instead, the Prosecutor “disowned” the witnesses in question rather than questioning them together with those who had coached them, to establish the authenticity of the claims.

(c) Until now, the Prosecutor has failed to provide him with any specific allegations made against him with respect to the post-election violence thereby denying him an opportunity to exonerate himself, seriously prejudicing his right under article 55(2) of the Rome Statute as a person who has been interviewed by the prosecutor and his right to be presumed innocent provided for under article 66 of the statute

In the application, Mr  Ruto is requesting the court to:

1)      Supervise the investigations and ensure that they are done in accordance with the law.

2)      Compel the Prosecutor to conduct his own independent, fair, impartial investigations and to stop defending the reports of investigations done by others.

3)      Compel the Prosecutor to investigate rather than dismiss evidence exonerating Mr Ruto, especially claims that certain witnesses were induced, coached and compromised to implicate him.

4)      Restrain the Prosecutor from applying for any summons to appear or warrants of arrest with respect to Kenya’s post election violence before this application is heard and determined.

Mr Ruto had traveled to The Hague on November 4 where he engaged the ICC investigators for 30 hours over his three day visit to ICC headquarters and claimed to have set the records straight on rumuors of his role in the post election violence.

The Eldoret North MP has been accusing the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights of bribing witnesses to give false evidence when the ICC trial kicks off.

The ICC prosecutor has indicated that he will present his case to the Pre Trial Chamber on December 15 where two cases facing six Kenyans will be heard. The names of those Kenyans would then be revealed.


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