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Sang warily welcomes ODM help

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 25 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) suspect Joshua arap Sang has cautiously welcomed a proposal from the Orange Democratic Movement to hire lawyers for him.

In a statement, Mr Sang said he would accept any assistance as long as it is given in good faith.

"I gratefully accept any help that is given to me in good faith and within reason, provided it does not seek to own me, or tilt my objectivity as a journalist or give me a political colouring," the journalist said.

He added: "As is known, I have already stated that I have limited resources."

In a dramatic turn of events on Thursday, a section of ODM members declared that it would hire a legal defence team for Deputy Party Leader William Ruto, Chairman Henry Kosgey and Mr Sang who is said to be an ODM member. The suspects have been summoned to appear at The Hague court on April 7 over accusations they were key masterminds of the 2008 violence.

Others named include Head of Civil service Francis Muthaura, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former Police Commission Major Hussein Ali who will make an appearance before the court on April 8.

Earlier in the month Mr Sang wrote to the ICC asking for assistance in meeting his travel, accommodation and legal expenses as he attends summons at the Hague based court.

Mr Sang however said he was surprised to learn of the proposal from the media without an official communication. He added that he was waiting for an official statement.

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"If ODM is acting in good faith then I expect that they will discuss with myself and my advocates possible options of help without prejudice. This far I do not know how they propose to intervene on my behalf," he said.

In his statement however, Mr Sang disassociated himself from the party membership saying his political orientation is a personal matter.

He said as a journalist and in his carrier, he has never acted as an agent or instrument of any political party including ODM. "I insist on remaining neutral so as to discharge my duties as a journalist," Mr Sang asserted.

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