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Kalonzo meets Ban as ICC summons issued

NEW YORK, Mar 9 – The Kenyan delegation to UN Headquarters led by Vice President Kalonzo  Musyoka on Tuesday met and briefed Secretary General  Ban Ki Moon on Kenya\’s quest to establish a local judicial process to  try suspected  perpetrators of the post election violence.

Mr Musyoka delivered President Kibaki\’s letter to the UN chief and urged him to support Kenya\’s efforts to dispense justice while keeping the country united and stable.

"Kenya is determined to have the PEV cases dealt in Kenya now that new Constitution has created an enabling environment to set up strong independent institutions capable of addressing governance and judicial matters," he said.

Mr Ban heard that Kenya was keen to boost national healing, reconciliation and stability.

"Whether through deferral by the UN Security Council or by directly applying to the ICC under article 19 of the Rome Statue we are eager to close that chapter in our recent history at home, by obtaining justice for the victims and healing the nation," said the VP.

Mr Ban said he "appreciated the complexity of carrying out prosecutions and also securing peace and national stability at the same time."

He urged Kenyans to move fast and put in place a local judicial process to play the primary jurisdiction role since ICC was a complimentary court to a national process.

He announced that the UN would hold its biggest meeting ever in Nairobi next month bringing together all UN agencies worldwide.  At the same time, Mr Ban said he was set to announce the appointment of a woman to head the UN headquarters in Nairobi (UNON )  

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"This is the first time all heads of UN agencies are having one meeting in one location to plan coordination so as to deliver services as one United Nations entity. I am pleased also to be able to appoint a woman who will be announced soon to assume  a senior position within the United Nations," he said.

Mr Musyoka and the Kenyan delegation comprising  Agriculture Minister Sally Kosgei, Higher Education Minister Helen Sambili and Nairobi Metropolitan Minister  Njeru  Githae held discussions on  Kenya\’s ICC cases deferral request, the situation in Somalia and post referendum South Sudan  with  United States  UN envoy  Susan Rice as well as UN  representatives  from  France and United Kingdom.

But as the VP intensified the shuttle diplomacy, the ICC summoned the six Kenyans named by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo to appear at The Hague on April 7 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.

Those required to appear at The Hague are 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 from the Cabinet to face charges of abuse of office.

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

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Former Police Commissioner Major General (rtd) Mohammed Hussein Ali says he will present himself before judges at International Criminal Court in The Hague on April 7, as directed in a ruling issued on Tuesday night.

Lawyer Evans Monari told Capital News that his client would cooperate fully and "will indeed honour the summons."

"We have made a conscious decision to cooperate with the pre-trial chamber and will make appropriate arrangements to appear at The Hague on the 7th of April," Mr Monari of Dally and Figgis said in an interview with Capital News.

Maj Gen Ali is being represented in the matter by lawyers Monari, John Philpot from Canada and Gerishom Ottachi of Ogeto, Ottachi and Company Advocates.

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Mr Monari said they would communicate to The Hague-based court later on Wednesday about their willingness to cooperate and appear as directed by pre-trial chamber judges who issued a majority ruling.

"We shall make appropriate arrangements to be at the chamber for the initial appearance, there is no doubt about that," he said.

Mr Monari said he was pleased that the ICC judges had made a favourable ruling on their client and took into consideration some of the issues they had raised in their previous application which was dismissed.

In the ruling, the judges said: "The Chamber does not find at this stage that the material presented by the Prosecutor provide reasonable grounds to believe that Ali participated in the common plan, i.e. that he agreed with the other members of the plan, sharing the same intent, to commit the crimes against humanity referred to in the previous section."

Mr Monari said he was particularly happy that the ruling had dismissed evidence presented by the ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo that the former police commissioner had ordered the use of excessive force against protestors in Kisumu and Kibera where youths were shot dead by police sent to quell riots.

In his application submitted in December last year, the Prosecutor had asked the pre-trial chamber judges to find that the police were out intentionally to kill ODM supporters in Kisumu and Kibera.

"The judges have said that there is not enough evidence to show that there was any such state policy and therefore they (judges) have said they will not entertain such arguments on Kisumu and Kibera," Mr Monari said. "That is a big blow for the Prosecutor."

The ruling said: "The Chamber notes that the Prosecutor, although mentioning in his application that the violence was executed by the Kenyan Police Forces, failed to provide an accurate factual and legal submission which would require the Chamber to examine whether the acts of violence were part of an attack pursuant to or in furtherance of a State policy."

"I can assure you that we want to put up a very strong case, the next stage after the initial appearance will be to take dates and prepare for the confirmation hearings, it is our hope and believe that this matter ends up at the confirmation hearings," Mr Monari added.

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Mr Monari said the ruling had punched holes at the Prosecutor\’s application "and that is why we are saying the ruling is not favourable to the Prosecutor, It tells him he needs to up his game."

The ruling went on to say that "The Chamber is of the view that the material submitted by the Prosecutor is not sufficient to establish reasonable grounds to believe that Ali can be held responsible as indirect co-perpetrator under article 25(3)(a) of the Statute."


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