Raila says there are options for the ICC Six

December 16, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 16- Prime Minister Raila Odinga says the government is exploring several options including writing to the UN Security Council to ask for a deferral of the case against the six prominent suspects named by the International Criminal Court prosecutor on Wednesday.

Mr Odinga told Parliament that once the government succeeds in forming a local tribunal they will consider asking for a deferral of the case the six suspects are facing.

"I have also mentioned that it is possible for us to go to the security council to ask for deferral but it means that you have to begin the process of setting up of a credible local process to deal with this matter… in other words you cannot just go and say we want you to defer without coming up with something solid and substantive," he said.

The PM outlined several options that he said are the only way the country can extricate itself from the ICC process.

He said the country has the option of establishing a credible local judicial mechanism and then write to the United Nations Security Council asking for deferral of the trial into the local tribunal.

He also said the country can also seek withdrawal from the Rome Statute.

The premier went on to say he was the most affected person in the country because two top officials of his ODM party – Henry Kosgey and William Ruto – are in the list unveiled by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

Mr Kosgey is ODM party chairman while Mr Ruto serves as deputy party leader.  Mr Ruto and Mr Odinga have been having differences and the PM even recently asked Mr Ruto to leave the party if he wished.

"I am the party leader of ODM.  My Deputy Party Leader and Chairman are there therefore I’m the most agonized person… remove the community out of it, and therefore I feel it as much as you feel it," stated the PM.

He was speaking in Parliament where he dismissed as "rumours" allegations by a section of MPs that the government had cut a deal with the ICC Prosecutor over the Kenyan case.

But while standing on a point of information, Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo informed the PM that a resolution to terminate Kenya’s membership to the ICC will only leave the six suspects more exposed as such a move will not stop the ICC from investigating them.

The Prime Minister asked MPs not to be emotional about the ICC process and instead provide leadership and ensure the country remains calm as justice takes its course.

"It is time for us to cool not be emotional and find credible solutions for this country and for the six," he said.

Mr Odinga has told MPs not to bring in the issue of 2012 succession into the investigations by the international criminal court.

The Premier came out fighting in Parliament saying he never influenced those who were to be tried at The Hague as claimed by some quarters.

Mr Odinga told MPs that they should blame themselves for having rejected government’s efforts to establish a credible local tribunal to try suspected masterminds of the post-election violence.

Earlier on Thursday, the MPs engaged in charged debate over the legality of a Motion seeking to revoke Kenya’s membership to the ICC.

The Speaker is expected to rule whether the move requires a constitutional amendment which can only be done through a referendum.


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