, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23 – The Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura has announced he will appeal against the decision of the International Criminal Court which ruled on Monday he should face trial for crimes against humanity.
Addressing the media at Harambee House, his lawyer Karim Khan QC said he would lodge an appeal with the war crimes court following the decision.
“Like in a football match, this is only half time and we are going to seek in due course, leave to appeal so that maybe the referee’s decision may be questioned. It is half time, there is all to play for. Don’t be celebratory, wait and allow justice to run its course,” he asserted.
Khan further said even if they don’t succeed in an appeal, the trials will prove the truth. “It is our very strong view knowing the cases we do that either we will prevail on an appeal or leave is granted or even if not, when the full facts are known; when we have the opportunity to confront not reference statements but real people, the truth will out.”
Muthaura’s lead counsel said they did not expect the court to confirm the charges against the career diplomat describing the news as a shocker. “We are immensely disappointed and very surprised by Monday’s decision given the evidence we put forward and the submissions we made.”
Muthaura who had been advised by his lawyer not to take any questions from the media maintained he was innocent.
“I am presumed innocent until proven guilty. Indeed this very important principle was emphasised by the presiding judge. I unequivocally state that I am absolutely innocent of all the accusations that have been made against me,” he maintained.
Muthaura said he was proud of what he had achieved in the three decades he has served as a government official.
“It will be for others and for history to judge the extent to which I have failed or succeeded in my duties or how well I have discharged my responsibilities, but I have done my very best,” he asserted.
He also urged William Ruto, Joshua arap Sang and Uhuru Kenyatta who had their charges confirmed to keep the courage as they face the long road of proving their innocence before The Hague-based court.
“I wish them all the very best to face the days ahead with patience and belief, and my thoughts are with them and their families,” he said as he announced his joy for Hussein Ali and Henry Kosgey whose charges were rejected by the court.
Muthaura is facing five counts of crimes against humanity for murder, forcible transfer of population, rape, other inhumane acts and persecution.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said he intended to co-operate with ICC but maintained that he was innocent of all the accusations levelled against him.
Kenyatta, who is also facing five counts at the ICC, also expressed confidence that he would be vindicated of all charges in due time.
“I have cooperated with the ICC throughout the process and will continue to do so because I believe in the rule of law,” he said.
“I therefore, urge all Kenyans not to lose hope following today’s ruling. I am confident that the truth will come out and I will be vindicated in the fullness of time.”
Kenyatta added that the trials would soon clear him both in the eyes of Kenyans and the international community over allegations that he took part in any manner in the violence that occurred after the 2007 General Elections.
“My conscience is clear, has been clear and will always remain clear that I am innocent of all the accusations that have been levelled against me,” he said
He urged Kenyans to allow the International Criminal Court process and justice run its course.
Kenyatta appealed to the nation to remain calm and peaceful following the ICC ruling on confirmation of charges on Monday.
“This trial has been about more. This trial has been about a country trying to come to terms with itself and its past – a country that is picking up the broken pieces from this dark period,” he said.
“It is about a country trying to get past the trauma of what happened and seek a fresh start.”
He indicated that he would issue a detailed statement at a later date.
Despite pressure from the civil society for Muthaura and Kenyatta to resign, the two have not expressed any intentions of vacating their public offices.
Meanwhile, Henry Kosgey and Hussein Ali were expected to make public statements on the outcome of the verdict on Tuesday.
ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo is also scheduled to hold a news conference at The Hague at 2pm Kenyan time on Tuesday.