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MPs back Kalonzo’s fresh bid on ICC

MERU, Kenya, Mar 7 – Legislators allied to the Party of National Unity (PNU) have supported the second round of shuttle diplomacy led by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka saying it would enhance justice for the Ocampo Six.

Led by party Chief Whip Johnson Muthama, the MPs said Kenya had made key steps towards achieving judicial reforms to qualify it to try the suspects locally.

"We have already commenced reforms at the Judiciary. The Chief Justice has already left… the Judicial Service Commission has already started the recruitment process (for a new one). Judges will also be vetted," added East Africa Community assistant minister Peter Munya.

He said those named by International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo would not get a fair hearing if tried in a foreign country since the judicial officers there could be compromised.

Speaking at St Paul\’s Methodist church in North Imenti constituency during a fundraiser, the leaders also criticised the list of ICC suspects saying those who quelled the post election violence were now being branded as perpetrators.

"If Ambassador Francis Muthaura and (former police commissioner Mohammed Hussein) Ali had not acted, the fight would have spilled into Nairobi\’s central business district. They should be praised instead of being persecuted," said MP Silas Muriuki who hosted them.

Manyatta MP Emilio Kathuri hailed the VP\’s negotiation skills saying his shuttle diplomacy would boost talks among the communities that fought in 2008.

"If the communities have already agreed to talk, there is no need to push for the Hague agenda. We are in solidarity with the VP," he said.

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The leaders also criticised the Ocampo list saying it was meant to bar top politicians who were a threat to Prime Minister Raila Odinga\’s presidential ambition.

"You have realised that you can\’t beat your opponent, what do you do? You devise ways to eliminate them," said Mr Munya.

Mr Musyoka left Kenya on Sunday afternoon for New York, where is set to meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon as part of the diplomacy effort.  The agenda for a deferral is however not on the agenda of the UN Security Council in March.

Agriculture Minister Sally Kosgei also left for Brazil which is a non-permanent member of the security council while Chirau Mwakwere is leading similar efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Portugal, which also sit on the council.

The ministers are part of a team named by President Mwai Kibaki last week to lead the second round of diplomacy after the recent successful lobbying of African Union states to support Kenya’s bid.

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