Ruto rubbishes ICC within Ocampo’s earshot

December 2, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 2 – Eldoret North MP William Ruto on Thursday rubbished investigations by the International Criminal Court (ICC), terming them flawed, just minutes before Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo made his address at a forum in Nairobi.

Mr Ruto who spoke on the sidelines of a meeting to review the performance of the Coalition Government and which was graced by Chief Mediator Kofi Annan, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and other dignitaries, said the ICC probe was compromised as its witnesses were bribed to implicate certain individuals.

He argued that the ICC would not deliver justice to any Kenyan who was incriminated by the said witnesses.

“Those so-called witnesses who are being held outside the country (about eight of them), are people who were coached and if those are the people whom they want to use to distort the truth, then Ocampo and his investigations are not about justice and they are not about looking for the truth in our country. They are simply a fraud,” he stated.

Mr Ruto further claimed that two additional witnesses had this week admitted having been coached by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR).

“How can you trust this process when all these shenanigans about tainted witnesses keep coming up? This week other people have come out to confirm that witnesses are being paid to give false accounts,” he alleged.

He further charged that the human rights watchdog was being used as a tool to settle political scores and added that all allegations made against its commissioners should be investigated.

“They choose to play hide and seek or cat-and-mouse games saying ‘oh we cannot go to the CID, oh we are going to do this’…what kind of a commission is that? They have no business in pretending that they are protecting human rights. Human rights of whom when they themselves are subverting the course of justice for other people?” he quipped.

However, in his speech, Mr Ocampo defended the KNCHR from the allegations saying they were baseless. He also distanced the ICC from any witnesses who claimed they had been bribed to implicate anyone.

“We have reviewed the work by KNCHR and we found no support for such allegations,” said the ICC Prosecutor.

Despite bashing the ICC, the Eldoret North MP however said that Kenya had made significant progress in her search for reforms.

“I participated in the Kenya National Dialogue process and we have made great strides. But we have challenges like any other country and people of Kenya have to face them, key being the implementation of the new Constitution,” he said.

He was also optimistic that Parliament would resolve the political standoff that was halting the implementation of the new Constitution.

“Now there is suggestion that Parliamentary caucus and the Cabinet Committee on reform and the legal committee of Parliament should come together and try and bring some political headway and I believe this will work,” he said.

In November, two witnesses came out claiming that KNCHR commissioner Hassan Omar Hassan coached and paid them to give false accounts of the post election violence, a claim that the commission dismissed.

At the time, various personalities including Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo and Lands Minister James Orengo called for their arrest, saying it was illegal to take bribes in order to testify.


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