NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 26 – International Criminal Court judges will issue a decision whether to decline or confirm charges in both Kenyan cases on the same date.
A statement posted on the court’s website said the judges took the decision mindful of the many security concerns raised by the victims in both cases.
“The chamber is duty-bound by law to protect the safety and well-being of witnesses and victims throughout the proceedings. Those concerns were also supported by regular reports received by the chamber on the security situation in the Republic of Kenya,” read the statement in part.
This means that that Hague suspects William Ruto, Henry Kosgey and Joshua Sang, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Former Police Commissioner Major-General (Rtd) Mohammed Hussein Ali will all know their fate on the same day.
The court did not however give a specific date for the rulings.
The six separately attended the confirmation of charges hearings in The Hague from September 1 to 8, 2011 and from September 21 to October 5 , 2011 respectively.
The International Criminal Court judges had during the hearings held this month spoken directly to the Kenyan people, demanding they do not harm witnesses or victims in the two Kenya cases before them.
The Pre-Trial Chamber II Presiding Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova additionally assured Kenyans that they would reach independent and impartial decisions on the two Kenya cases.
Judge Trendafilova made the statement on behalf of her fellow judges at the close of hearings to determine whether the cases proceed to trial.
During the hearings, lawyers representing victims of the post election violence reported claims of threats to the families of people suspected of being prosecution witnesses.
ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo had indicated in a television interview that he would support the request by one of the lawyers for the victims, Morris Anyah, who in his closing statement requested the judges to consider announcing their decision on the Kenya cases at the same time, even though the hearings for the two were held on different dates.
Moreno-Ocampo wants Kenyatta, Muthaura and Major-General (Rtd) Hussein Ali charged with five counts of crimes against humanity.
The ICC prosecutor alleges the three were the masterminds of or contributed in a huge way to the killing of non-Kikuyus in Nakuru and Naivasha in late January 2008 in retaliation for the killing of Kikuyus earlier that month in the northern part of the Rift Valley.
He claims the Mungiki criminal gang carried out the killings and the police allowed them to commit the crimes.
Ruto, Kosgey and Sang are facing separate charges for the organising violence in the northern Rift Valley.
Kenya ratified the Rome Statute on 15 March, 2005 becoming a State party in June 2005.
According to the Rome Statute, the Court may exercise its jurisdiction in situations where the alleged perpetrator is a national of a State Party or where the crime was committed in the territory of a State Party.
On 31 March 2010, Pre-Trial Chamber II authorised the prosecutor to commence an investigation into the situation in the Kenya in relation to the 2007/2008 post-election violence.