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Waki still advocates a local tribunal

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – Justice Philip Waki on Tuesday broke his silence over his investigations into the 2008 post election violence and said it was crucial for Kenya to form a local tribunal to investigate perpetrators of the chaos.

Speaking in Nanyuki during a meeting on domestic accountability for crimes, Justice Waki said though the International Criminal Court (ICC) has indicted six Kenyans, the country should seek a mechanism that would deliver justice to the rest of victims and perpetrators.

“The perpetrators of the 2008 post-election violence crimes are in their hundreds at different levels of culpability. What happens to the significant number of perpetrators … who will not and cannot be tried by the ICC?” he queried.

The Appeal Court judge said his Commission of Inquiry into Post Election Violence had hoped that Kenya would deal with the aftermath of the fighting to promote internal justice and address primary causes by tackling impunity as well as making people accountable for the crimes they committed.

He described the ICC process as an ‘insurance policy’ that came into being after Kenya failed to form a local tribunal.

“The recommendation that the names of alleged perpetrators be forwarded to the ICC was only assurance that justice would prevail in the event that Kenya failed to set up a Special Tribunal,” he said.

Justice Waki said the effort of forming a local tribunal had been frustrated due to lack of political will and weak judicial systems.

He also blamed Kenya’s incapacity to investigate and prosecute suspects.

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According to Justice Waki, Kenya also lacked a proper system of defending, trying offences and using the Penal Code when investigating the perpetrators.

Justice Waki said the country also lacked a sufficient witness protection scheme, which was likely to risk the lives of those who appear as witnesses.

“Limited place of victims in the criminal justice system, except when they are required to appear as witnesses, their lack of protection and the absence of compensation and reparation programmes,” he said.

That was the first time that Justice Waki spoke publicly since he handed over his commission’s report in October, 2008.

The commission was set up to investigate the post election violence and make recommendations on how to avert future recurrences.

ICC has heavily been relying on the Waki evidence in its investigations of William Ruto, Henry Kosgei, Uhuru Kenyatta, Amb Francis Muthaura, Hussein Ali and Joshua arap Sang.

Justice Waki is one of the judges who have applied for the post of Supreme Court Judge.

He is scheduled to appear before the Judicial Service Commission for the interview early next month.

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