, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – The four Kenyans accused of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have up to Monday to notify the court of their intention to appeal against the ruling that confirmed their charges.
ICC Outreach Coordinator in Kenya Maria Kamara told Capital News that the defence teams are allowed five days from Tuesday, to give the Pre-Trial Chamber convincing reasons for their intention to appeal.
“They (defence) have five days to file an application requesting the Pre-Trial Chamber to grant them an appeal based on the decision. The judges will then review the application and make a decision,” she asserted.
The five-day count starts a day after the date the judges delivered their verdict on the confirmation of charges.
There is no timeline by when the judges should respond to the applications. “I don’t know how long the judges will take to answer them,” she said.
According to a Nairobi lawyer who is well versed with the ICC process; “the notice should be filed within five days and the brief within 21 days.” The brief will contain extensive information on the issues in the ruling that the defence teams want to appeal against.
“No such leave has ever been granted either to the prosecutor or the defence,” the lawyer added.
The defence teams also have an automatic right to appeal on jurisdiction and admissibility based on the fact that the crimes they are accused of do not meet the ICC threshold. Such an application is lodged directly at the Appeals Chamber.
Last year, the defence teams had made several applications challenging jurisdiction of the court and admissibility in which they claimed a local process had been initiated to investigate them.
If the judges decline to grant them an appeal, they will then ask the ICC presidency to constitute one or two chambers that will comprise three judges each but not including Hans Peter Kaul, Ekaterina Trendafilova and Cuno Tarfusser who handled their case at the Pre-Trial stage. Kenyan Judge Joyce Aluoch who sits in the Trial Chamber cannot hear the Kenyan case.
On Tuesday, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said he would not appeal Monday’s ruling, expressing concerns that the move could derail the conclusion of the confirmed cases.
It was highly expected that he would appeal against the acquittal of Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey and Postmaster General Hussein Ali.
Although he acknowledged the four accused were free to appeal, he said it would delay the trials but hoped the judges will give their verdict on the appeals in less than two months.
Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, radio presenter Joshua arap Sang and Eldoret North MP William Ruto expressed their dissatisfaction with the court ruling and expressed their intention to challenge it.
On his part, Uhuru Kenyatta has said he will co-operate with the court.