NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – Over the coming months, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Pre Trial Chamber II will request the ICC presidency to constitute one or two trial chambers to hear the cases against the four Kenyans accused of crimes against humanity.
According to ICC Outreach Coordinator in Kenya Maria Kamara the trial chamber will take months to be constituted, “It will take several months after the decision.”
The process could also take longer than usual now that some of the accused – Francis Muthaura, Joshua arap Sang and William Ruto – have expressed their intentions to lodge appeals against Monday’s ruling.
The ICC presidency comprises three judges; Sang -Hyun Song (President), Fatoumata Dembele Diarra (First Vice President) and Hans-Peter Kaul (2nd Vice President) who was part of the Pre-Trial Chamber II.
The presidency is supposed to assign three judges to the Trial Chamber who will then elect a presiding judge.
Kamara says the presidency will however ensure that Judges Kaul, Ekaterina Trendafilova and Cuno Tarfusser do not constitute the Trial Chamber since they were in the Pre-Trial Chamber II that has been handling the Kenyan cases.
“The judges who have heard the case in the first instance may have already taken a stand on different issues. People who are looking at issues for the first time will be appointed,” she asserted.
Another important consideration will also be to ensure that judge Joyce Aluoch (Kenyan) is not part of the trial chamber that will try the accused Kenyans.
“It will not include the Kenyan judge to be able to avoid any perception or feeling that the judges might influence the decision at the trail stage. She will not sit in that trial bench,” she noted.
This means the presidency will make a choice from the rest of the 16 judges of the ICC apart from Judges Ekaterina, Tarfusser, Aluoch and Kaul.