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Kosgey: I am set for The Hague

NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 9 – Former Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey on Wednesday said that he would present himself at The Hague on April 7 as directed by International Criminal Court (ICC) judges.

The International Criminal Court issued summonses to the six Kenyans named as suspected masterminds of the 2008 post-election violence to appear in court.

Mr Kosgey, who is also the ODM chairman and Tinderet MP, insisted that he was innocent and that the ICC process would eventually exonerate him from any crimes committed immediately after the 2007 General Election.

He stated that he had written to the court confirming that he would appear before the Judges.

"I have always maintained that I had nothing to do with the post election violence of 2007/8 and look forward to presenting my defence before the court.  I am confident that I will be vindicated in the course of time," Mr Kosgey said

The ICC directed on Tuesday evening that the six suspects who include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura, suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto, former Industrialization Minister Henry Kosgey, former Commissioner of Police Hussein Ali and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang appear in court in The Hague next month.

Mr Kosgey, who was in the company of his lawyer and ODM MPs Wilson Litole and Margaret Kamar, however protested that the ICC never given him a chance to tell his side of the story.

The ODM chairman said: "On the 16th December 2010, I issued a statement where I indicated that prior to the applications of summons, I had not received any request to assist investigations into the Kenyan situation nor was I given any opportunity to respond to the allegations made against me."

Mr Ruto, Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang are classified in the first case as among the key planners and organizers of crimes against supporters of President Mwai Kibaki\’s Party of National Unity while Mr Muthaura, Mr Kenyatta and Ali are accused of planning attacks against ODM supporters.

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Fighting flared between ethnic groups in Kenya following a disputed December 2007 presidential vote, leaving 1,500 people dead and forcing 300,000 to flee their homes.

The clashes was abated after President Kibaki, signed a power- sharing deal in February 2008 with Raila Odinga, who was named Prime Minister.

Tuesday’s summons come on the first day of a mission to the United Nations by a government delegation led by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka aimed at deferring the impending trial of the suspects at The Hague.

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