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ICC summons six Kenyans for post poll bloodshed

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 8 – Six Kenyans named by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo are now required to appear at The Hague on April 7th following a ruling issued by the Pre-Trial Chamber judges on Tuesday night.

A statement posted on the ICC website says the six have been summoned to appear at The Hague court to show cause why they should not stand trial for their alleged roles in planning the 2008 post election violence which claimed the lives of more than 1,500 people.

The Pre-Trial Chamber judges said in their ruling that there was reasonable grounds to believe that the suspects has a case to answer at The Hague hence should appear before the Court on Thursday, 7 April 2011.

Those required to appear at The Hague include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of the Civil Service Ambassador Francis Muthaura, Suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto and Tinderet Member of Parliament Henry Kosgey who stepped aside to face charges of abuse of office.

Others are former Police Commissioner Mohammed Hussein Ali and Radio Presenter Joshua Arap Sang of KASS FM.

 Mr Ruto, Kosgey and arap Sang have been ordered to appear at 9.30 hours (Hague time) for the purposes of the hearing to be held pursuant to article 60 of the Statute while Mr Kenyatta, Muthaura and Hussein Ali will be required to appear at 14.30 hours on the same day.

The ruling said it had been endorsed by Judges Cuno Tarfusser and Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova but was opposed by Judge Hans-Peter Kaul who will be issuing his dissenting order in due course.

“In view of the foregoing, the Chamber is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that, from 30 December 2007 until end of January 2008, Ruto and Kosgey are criminally responsible as indirect co-perpetrators under article 25(3)(a) of the Statute, and that Sang is criminally responsible as having contributed to crimes committed by a group of persons within the meaning of article 25(3)(d) of the Statute, in locations including Turbo town, the greater Eldoret area (Huruma, Kiambaa, Kimumu, Langas, and Yamumbi), Kapsabet town, and Nandi Hills town, in the Uasin Gishu and Nandi Districts, Republic of Kenya, for the following acts constituting crimes against humanity,” the rulling reads in part.

They are both accused of murder and forceful transfer of populations in parts of Rift Valley Province.

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The summons came as a high-powered delegation led by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka began a second round of lobbying for the deferral of the Kenyan case through the United Nations Security Council.

Mr Musyoka is in New York City where he held talks with the President of the UN Security Council Li Paodong of China.

Mr Li Paodong whose country holds the presidency of the UN security informed Mr Musyoka that the Security Council has received Kenya\’s request for the deferral of the cases and he added that the request has since been circulated to members for consideration.

The VP who is leading the Kenyan delegation seeking the deferral of the ICC cases told the President that Kenya is seeking to postpone action by the ICC against the six Kenyans named as the suspects of the 2007/08 post election violence, to allow for local trials through a national judicial mechanism.

Mr Musyoka who is accompanied by Agriculture Minister Dr Sally Kosgei, Nairobi Metropolitan Minister Njeru Githae and the Higher Education Minister Helen Sambili reiterated that Kenya has no intention pulling out of the International Criminal Court or assisting those named by the ICC prosecutor to escape justice.

"All we want is the UN security council to consider positively the AU resolution endorsing Kenya\’s request for a twelve-month deferral to allow us to complete reforms and embark on local trials," he said.
The six suspects are accused of having planned or financed the post election violence that broke out in the country soon after the disputed Presidential Elections held in the country in 2007.
Ambassador Muthaura and the former Police Commissioner Major General (rtd) Hussein Ali are accused of authorising police to use excessive force in Kisumu and Kibera.

“They were killing hundreds of people identified as supporters of the Orange Democratic Movement,” Mr Ocampo said when he presented cases against the six Kenyans in December last year.

The KASS FM radio Presenter Mr arap Sang is accused of inciting people to violence mainly in the Rift Valley while Mr Ruto and Mr Kosgey are accused of planning violence in Eldoret where thousands of people were evicted from their homes.

The Finance Minister Mr Kenyatta on his part accused of sponsoring Mungiki adherents to launch retaliatory attacks in the rift valley which Mr Ocampo said was the focal point of the violence.

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“He was the focal point between Mungiki and the Party of National Unity. He facilitated the role of the Mungiki,” said the Prosecutor.

The violence left some 3,500 people injured and up to 600, 000 forcibly displaced. 

During  30  days  of  violence,  there  were  hundreds  of  rapes,  possibly  more,  and  over  100,  000  properties  were  destroyed  in  six  of  Kenya’s  eight  provinces. 

“These were not just crimes against innocent Kenyans”, Mr Ocampo said.  “They were crimes against humanity as a whole.  By  breaking  the  cycle  of  impunity  for  massive  crimes,  victims  and  their  families  can  have  justice.  And  Kenyans  can  pave  the  way  to  peaceful  elections  in  2012.” 


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