Ali wants inclusion in ICC pre trial

January 24, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – Former Police Commissioner Major General (rtd) Mohammed Hussein Ali has now filed an application at the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking to be given a hearing by the pre-trial chamber judges who are reviewing his case and that of five other Kenyan suspects.

In a suit filed last Thursday, Maj Gen Ali argues that he is not likely to get justice unless he is involved by the pre-trial chamber which is assessing a case filed by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo who wants him and the other five suspects indicted for allegedly masterminding or financing the 2008 post election violence in Kenya.

Sources told Capital News that the case was filed by a Canadian Lawyer jointly with his two Kenyan counterparts Gerishom Ottachi and Evans Monari who are representing the Postmaster General.

"The application was filed on Thursday and it has been duly received at the ICC courts registry," a source privy with the matter said.

The two Kenyan lawyers were not immediately available for comment neither was the Postmaster General.

It is understood that Maj Gen Ali has already prepared a strong defence which he wants to present to the pre-trial chamber judges at the ICC once given a chance to appear before them.

He argues in his application that since Mr Ocampo failed to give him a chance to present evidence exonerating him from the accusations levelled against him, it is imperative for the judges handling his case to allow him to present what he has.

The former police chief says in the application that he was "prepared to give evidence any time, if allowed to do so."

The former Police Commissioner is being accused of authorising police to use excessive force in Kisumu and Kibera where hundreds of youths were shot dead by the police.

"They (police) were killing hundreds of people identified as supporters of the Orange Democratic Movement," Mr Ocampo said when he presented his case to the pre-trial chamber judges.

"The  prosecution  considers  that  during  the  PEV  he  authorised  the  use  of  excessive  force  against  ODM  supporters  and  facilitated  attacks  against ODM  supporters."

In December 2010, Mr Ocampo presented to the pre-trial chamber cases against Maj Gen Ali and five others whom he said were responsible for the 2008 post election violence which left some 1,500 people dead and displaced 650,000 others in what is considered the worst political crisis in the country\’s history.

Others on the ICC list are the Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto and Tinderet Member of Parliament Henry Kosgey who stepped aside from the Industrialisation Ministry to face abuse of office charges.

Kass FM presenter Joshua arap Sang is the only civilian in the list of suspects.

Late last year, Mr Ruto moved to the ICC pre-trial chambers through lawyers Katwa Kigen and Dr Kithure Kindiki, seeking orders by the judges to stop Mr Ocampo from applying for summons against him on grounds that he was relying on witnesses who had been coached to implicate him.

The pre-trial chamber judges however dismissed his case last week but his lawyers have indicated that they will file an appeal to challenge the ruling.

Legal experts now say the application filed by Maj Gen Ali is different from that of Mr Ruto which has been dismissed because the earlier one was filed before the Prosecutor applied for the summons.

"If the former Police Commissioner has filed an application seeking to be heard at the ICC, then the application is valid and it comes at the right time. It has not, in any way, been overtaken by events like it was the case with the one filed by the Hon Ruto," one legal expert said.

Another application still pending at the ICC pre-trial chamber includes that of the nine senior police and provincial officers who want a stay of the process of interrogating them in Nairobi.

They include Central Provincial Commissioner Japhter Rugut, Ernest Munyi (Coast), Paul Olando (Western) and former Rift Valley PC Hassan Noor Hassan.

The police chiefs include those who served in the Coast at the time, King\’ori Mwangi,  Njue Njagi who served as Nairobi PPO, Joseph Ashimala who served as Rift Valley PPO and Grace Kaindi who headed Nyanza Province.

The security chiefs are represented by Lawyers from the law firms of Ogetto & Otachi Advocates and Daly and Figgis.

Last week, Justice Kalpana Rawal who is the ICC-designate judge announced that she had decided to put the process of interrogating the security chiefs on hold until February 24, after their lawyers told that their application was still pending at the ICC.

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