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ICC to rule on Kenyan appeal on post-poll violence cases

THE HAGUE, Aug 26 – The world crimes court said Thursday it would announce next week its judgement on Kenya’s appeal against its decision to throw out the African country’s challenge to cases involving six top Kenyan officials.

“The Appeals Chamber is to deliver judgement on the Kenyan government’s appeals regarding its challenges to the admissibility of cases,” on Tuesday, the International Criminal Court said in a statement.

Kenya has challenged the ICC’s jurisdiction to investigate six senior allies of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga accused of masterminding the 2007-08 post-election violence that claimed up to 1,500 lives.

They face charges of crimes against humanity after the ICC’s prosecutor accused them of being “the most responsible” for the violence that also left 3,500 people injured and 600,000 forcibly displaced.

The charges include murder, deportation, rape, inhumane acts, persecution and torture.

The six have been divided into two groups with Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, public service head Francis Muthaura and former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali to appear next Thursday before the court to see whether the charges will be confirmed against them or not.

Two others who have held ministerial positions, William Ruto and Henry Kosgey, and radio executive Joshua arap Sang are to appear later next month for a similar hearing.

Kenya in May said it would appeal the ICC’s decision to throw out its challenge to the cases. Nairobi maintained it would prosecute the suspects itself.

But The Hague-based ICC, the world’s only independent, permanent tribunal for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, took charge of trying the key suspects, saying “there was an absence of information which substantiates the government of Kenya’s challenge that there are ongoing investigations” against the suspects.

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