NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15- Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo has warned Kenyans against castigating the attempts by the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Luis-Moreno Ocampo, to withhold evidence on the deadly post election from the Kenyan authorities, saying it cannot be used in a local system.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a meeting on national values, Kilonzo argued that Kenya would not be able to use the evidence provided by the Court without conducting its own investigations.
He explained that the evidence collected by the ICC Prosecutor would not stand a chance in a local process as it had not been gathered by local authorities.
Earlier this week, Ocampo wrote to the Pre-Trial Chamber urging it not to disclose any evidence on the violence that saw 1,200 killed and hundreds of thousands displaced, to the Kenyan authorities.
He argued that although Kenya had made an application seeking to have the evidence released, the country had not shown any commitment in prosecuting the perpetrators of the post poll chaos.
“An investigation carried out by a non-Kenyan would be very difficult to qualify for investigation in a Kenyan Court. You need to look at your system and Constitution to know whether or not the evidence would be able to stand in a Kenyan Court,” he stressed.
Kenya had made the request to the Court arguing that it was interested in prosecuting other suspects not targeted by the Court. Through the application, which was made by Attorney General Githu Muigai and Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, Kenya sought to know the names of the high profile individuals mentioned adversely by the Waki Commission.
The names contained in the Waki list have remained a closely guarded secret.
However the names of Naivasha MP John Mututho, former GSU Commandant Samson Cheramboss and other key figures in Kenya’s security systems have already been mentioned at the Court as suspected perpetrators.
The Justice Minister also reminded Kenyans that they opted for the ICC process instead of a local mechanism and should therefore cooperate with the Court.
“I told you to set up a local judicial mechanism but you refused and you said ‘don’t be vague, let’s go to The Hague’ so Ocampo has every right to keep the evidence,” maintained Kilonzo.
“Besides the investigation of a case and the manner in which you collate the evidence and keep it in custody is more fundamental than the substance of the charge,” he explained.
Kenya had also tried to have the ICC cases deferred but the bid flopped. Other than that, the government unsuccessfully tried to challenge the admissibility of the cases as well as the jurisdiction of the Court.
In addition, one of the ICC suspects, Post Master General Hussein Ali, had also separately written to the Court seeking to challenge it on the same grounds.
The Court is currently in the process of analysing submissions made by the Prosecution and Defense with regard to the two cases on the six Kenyan suspects.
Eldoret North MP William Ruto, Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey and radio personality Joshua arap Sang are accused of being the masterminds behind the violence while Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and Ali are targeted by the Court for allegedly planning and financing retaliatory attacks.
Ruto, Kosgey and Sang will know their fate by the December 24 while Kenyatta, Muthaura and Ali will know theirs by January 15.
Kilonzo also reminded Kenyans to remain faithful to their national values as laid out in Article 10 of the Constitution noting that it would help facilitate the envisaged reforms.
“Violence, corruption, favoritism and nepotism will not take this country anywhere and if the national values are not ingrained into our systems then we will never develop,” he said.
Justice Permanent Secretary Gichira Kibara had earlier stressed the importance of the national values saying they would be instrumental as Kenya prepares for the forthcoming elections.