Fresh bid to set up Special Tribunal

January 7, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 7 – Imenti Central Member of Parliament Gitobu Imanyara has now prepared a Bill to set up a Special Division of the High Court to try suspected masterminds of the post election violence.

Mr Imanyara said in a statement on Friday that with the adoption and ratification of the new Constitution, it was no longer necessary to have a Constitutional amendment in order to set up a Special Tribunal.

Mr Imanyara said: "In fact Section 165 of the New Constitution provides that: "There is established the High Court which shall have: "165(e) any other jurisdiction, original or appellate conferred on it by legislation."

Last year Mr Imanyara had introduced the Special Tribunal Bill in Parliament but it failed to take off after legislator\’s absconded debate.
This was in the form of a Constitutional Amendment Bill which required the support of at least 148 MPs. The new Bill will require a simple majority if Parliament is to pass.

Read the draft Bill here

"I have prepared another Draft Bill under the above Section and today (Friday) submitted the same to the Clerk of the National Assembly for onward transition to the relevant committee of the House for their consideration," he said.

The MP said he had in addition submitted copies of the new Bill to the Attorney General and the Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs and also to the Office of the Prime Minister for their respective comments, suggestions or proposals for amendments.

He proposed to submit the final draft to the Clerk of the National Assembly for approval for publication in the Kenya Gazette after seven days.

"The Bill is substantially similar to the one I had submitted to Parliament except that in the changed constitutional environment I have removed the involvement of external actors. I have also simplified the procedures of trial and done away with the necessity of Pre-Trial Chamber and Appeals from the Tribunal will now be heard by the Supreme Court rather than an Appeals Chamber," he said in brief summary of the Bill.

His original Bill had called for international judges.

The publication comes less than a month after the naming of six suspects said to bear the greatest responsibility for the post-poll chaos by International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo.

The ICC judges are expected to make a decision whether there is enough evidence to charge Uhuru Kenyatta, Henry Kosgey, William Ruto, the Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura, former Police Commissioner Major General Hussein Ali and journalist Joshua arap Sang.

The six are accused of planning the violence that left over 1,500 dead and more than 650,000 displaced.
If passed, the Bill will obligate the government to set up a special division at the High Court.

In his New Year message President Mwai Kibaki reiterated that the government was committed to exploring a local judicial mechanism to try the suspects.


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