DPP plans special unit to try 2008 crimes

May 3, 2012 6:55 am
The task force on PEV was gazetted recently/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 3 – The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will establish a special unit to deal with the 2008 post-election violence cases.

The DPP Keriako Tobiko told Capital FM News that the unit will be made up of local and international prosecutors that will be impartial and competent in handling of the post election violence cases.

“I am considering a special prosecution unit to work with the task force on Post Election Violence (PEV) which will be composed of local and international prosecutors. The Attorney General is also working with the Chief Justice to develop a Special Division of the High Court,” he noted.

The task force on PEV was gazetted recently.

The DPP further asserted that Kenya will seek assistance from the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Arusha based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to identify professional prosecutors who will handle all cases to give justice to the victims of the post election violence.

“I will be in touch with the ICC to help us identify how we can work together with most credible, most competent, professional and impartial prosecutors to guide investigations and to handle any resultant prosecutions before the Specialised Division of the High Court,” he said.

Tobiko clarified that the efforts are an obligation of the government under the Rome Statute to bring justice to the victims who suffered in the hands of criminals after the disputed 2007 election.

He also rubbished utterances and efforts seeking for Kenya’s withdrawal from the ICC explaining that the court should not be viewed as a foreign one but part of Kenya’s judicial system.

He said the day that Kenya enacted and ratified the Rome Statute meant that it incorporated the ICC in the Kenyan judicial system.

“As the CJ rightly said, ICC is not a foreign judicial foreign process. It is already domesticated and localised by the International Crimes Act of 2009 and given constitutional anchorage by Article 2 of the Constitution. In this respect any suggestion that Kenya should pull out of the ICC is either ignorance or political mischief,” he insisted.

He said Kenya is bowed to give cooperation to the ICC as required under the Rome Statute which it is signatory to: “ICC is not a foreign animal. Those talking of pulling out of ICC are completely off the mark. Kenya has an obligation to cooperate fully with the ICC.”

He explained that it is a court of the last resort which took up the Kenyan cases because the country was either unwilling or unable to formulate a local process to investigate and prosecute the post election violence.

The DPP found it is necessary for Kenya to stamp its authority by proving to criminals that they cannot get away with the offences that led to the death of 1,000 people and displacements of more than 500,000 people.

“The reason is not because of the four but because we must close this chapter by bringing perpetrators to account. Giving justice to the victims will simultaneously promote local healing and reconciliation,” he explained.

Almost all the middle level and lower level perpetrators remain free, a consideration that Tobiko said should be even the more reason why there should be a special unit to investigate and prosecute all perpetrators conclusively.

According to Tobiko interrogating the 2008 post election violence will not only bring justice but also act as a warning as the country goes to yet another general election.

He said it is the desire of the government that the country will hold democratic elections supported by a peaceful environment with those bent to violence knowing they will be dealt with firmly.

“We can’t allow a repeat of violence in the next elections. We have to put systems in place to send a strong message to those interested in violence,” he vowed.


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