Police return ’empty’ on Britain ICC probe

April 10, 2012 1:20 pm
Iteere blamed the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 which specifies the privileges of a diplomatic mission/CFM

, NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 10 – Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere now says the Kenyan police cannot probe the authenticity of a dossier alleging a plot by Britain to indict President Mwai Kibaki at the International Criminal Court (ICC) due to diplomatic immunity and parliamentary privileges.

Iteere and the Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro who were appearing before the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee said their investigations have been frustrated by lack of cooperation by two MPs and the UK government.

“For me to come to that conclusion, the investigation has to show me. Up to now, there’s nothing to show that the documents are either fake or genuine,” said Iteere.

Iteere blamed the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 which specifies the privileges of a diplomatic mission that enable diplomats to perform their function without fear of coercion or harassment by the host country.

He added that they had failed to interview Chloe Hamborg and Edward Inglett, the alleged authors of the document because they enjoy diplomatic immunity.

Iteere however said police had been able to establish that Inglett, one of those alleged to have authored the document, was transferred to Afghanistan eight months ago.

The Police Commissioner said their attempt to interrogate the two failed after the British High Commission declined to grant them permission.

The British Mission instead referred Iteere to a note it had sent through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last week, where it told the Kenyan police that it had no “further comment” on the document, which it had already dismissed as “not genuine” on March 9, a day after it was tabled in Parliament.

Iteere said he had also met the Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende, seeking to interview the Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo and his Dujis counterpart Aden Duale who tabled the set of documents but they are also protected under the law.

The Powers and Privileges Act guarantees MPs immunity from prosecution on any documents tabled or utterances made on the floor of the House.

“The two MPs knew very well what they were doing. We cannot force them to record statements until you change your rules. You cannot ask the police to play angel,” Iteere said.

Muhoro said the British government wrote to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying that it is the policy of their government not to comment on leaked documents.

“We have a foreign government on one hand whose officers are protected under diplomatic immunity; on the other hand, we have MPs who are protected under the law. We’re in a very unfamiliar territory,” said Muhoro.

He revealed that because there was no access to any document or even the computer that could have generated the document from the British High Commission, then the police were handicapped.

“It leaves us in a position where we cannot take any step. We’re between a hard rock and a very, very hard surface,” said Muhoro.

Committee Chairman Adan Keynan said he was disappointed that the investigative arm was unable to determine the authenticity of what he termed as a “simple document.”

He however maintained that the setback will not make them stop their probe.

Nominated MP George Nyamweya and Sigor MP Wilson Litole had earlier asked the chairman to end the probe noting that the committee’s job was futile, now that the investigative arm of government had returned empty-handed.

The Police said the investigation was still open, with the hope that the two MPs will volunteer information about the document that alleges that Britain is pushing for President Kibaki to be investigated and taken to the International Criminal Court over the 2008 post-poll chaos.


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