Kenya assures ICC team of commitment

May 31, 2011 11:59 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – The government on Tuesday re-assured the delegation from the International Criminal Court (ICC) of its commitment and cooperation during the investigations of the key suspects of the 2008 post election violence in Kenya.

ICC Jurisdiction Complimentarity and Cooperation Division Director Phakiso Mochochoko said the Cabinet Committee on ICC matters re-affirmed that it would continue to support the process, but the court was yet to see it practically.

“We have received re-assurances, we have received re-commitments. We can only go by that but it remains to be seen in the actual testing to see how it ends in practice, the government said it is willing to work with the ICC,” he said.

He said the Prosecutor’s office will report Kenya to the judges who will then appeal to the top most political ICC body which is the Assembly of State Parties to rule on any breaches of the cooperation agreement.

Accompanied by Associate International Cooperation Adviser Shamiso Mbizvo the delegation from the Prosecutor’s Office raised concerns over failure by suspects occupying top positions in government to resign.

He said the prosecutor’s office will continue to communicate with the government over that matter.

Mr Mochochoko echoed ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo’s complaint that the government was shielding the suspects as he recalled the ‘shuttle diplomacy’ led by vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

Willingness to cooperate and the government’s process to defer the Kenyan case and also pull out of the Rome Statue were also points of discussion with the government.

He said the government’s intention was engineered after Mr Ocampo publicised the names of the suspects, a move that raised serious questions of Kenya’s promised cooperation.

Mr Mochochoko further said the court will take action against suspects issuing threats to witnesses.

He said the court was already investigating reports that some of the six suspects were threatening witnesses and once equipped with evidence the court will take action which includes warrants of arrest.

“We are investigating, depending on the outcome we will take appropriate measures including reporting the matter to the judges as it is a serious offence,” he said.

Mr Mochochoko raised concerns with the government over the witness protection programme which he complained was insufficient.

He said it was crucial for Kenya to address the hiccups in the witness protection programme to ensure witnesses will be assured of protection should Kenya decide to carry other investigations into the 2008 post election violence.

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