Top ICC official headed to Kenya

January 25, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 25 – The International Criminal Court has dispatched one of its top officials responsible for the Rome Statute membership to Nairobi, to meet senior government officials amid spirited attempts to alter Kenya\’s standing with The Hague court.

Ambassador Christian Wenaweser – the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC – is scheduled to arrive in the country on Thursday for a two-day visit.

"The visit includes consultations with government officials, Members of Parliament and meetings with civil society and the media on ICC issues," a statement on the International Criminal Court website said.

The statement did not give his full itinerary or the specific officials he was scheduled to meet.

It added that ambassador Wenaweser would conclude his visit with a press conference at 4pm on Friday.

His visit comes a month after MPs passed a Motion pushing for Kenya to pull out of the Rome Statute that establishes the ICC, as well as intense lobbying for a deferral of the case against six Kenyan suspects accused of roles in the 2008-post-election violence.

Lawmakers passed a Motion on December 22 sponsored by Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto asking Kenya to pull out of the Rome Statute.

A section of politicians from across the political divide including Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo have however, opposed the Motion.

Lawyers including the Justice Minister have, however argued that the intended pull out does not, in any way, affect cases already pending before the ICC.

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo presented cases against six Kenyans whom he wants indicted for organising or financing the post election violence of 2008 which claimed the lives of some 1,500 people and displaced 650,000 others.

In December last year, Mr Ocampo presented to the pre-trial chamber cases against Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, the head of the Public Service Francis Muthaura and former Police Commissioner Major General (rtd) Hussein Ali.

Others Mr Ocampo wants indicted are 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 radio Presenter Joshua arap Sang is the only civilian in the list.

Some of those named have already received letters from the ICC and have confirmed they will cooperate with the court.

The former police commissioner has also filed an application seeking to be involved in the pre-trial process.

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