Bensouda says Kenya reluctant to share crucial data

October 22, 2012 2:47 pm
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Bensouda further told the media that the she would discuss with the government cooperation matters that will also include the protection of victims and witnesses, which said described as worrying/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 – ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Monday accused the Kenyan government of delays in submitting important information that the court requires in the cases against four Kenyans.

Addressing the media in Nairobi, she said the court was concerned at the reluctance by the government in handing over information she described as confidential and important in the ICC process.

Bensouda further told the media that the she would discuss with the government cooperation matters that will also include the protection of victims and witnesses, which she described as worrying.

“One of the reasons for my coming is to discuss cooperation between the ICC and Kenya but also regarding the victims and witnesses and to ensure that adequate protection is given to them,” she said.

Bensouda maintained that the court will go on with its judicial calendar which is not subject to the Kenyan political process and it is up to Kenyans to elect leaders of their choice.

However she said no one is immune to the process which is targeting at bringing justice to victims of the 2008 post-election violence.

She further reminded Kenyans that the court is not targeting any communities but is dealing with individuals accused of crimes against humanity during the 2008 post election violence.

“The ICC process will proceed irrespective of the choices that Kenyans make. We are a judicial institution. The Kenyan elections are a political process, let the political process go on but the ICC process will go on and the calendar that has been set by the judges will also be followed,” she asserted.

Bensouda confirmed that the court was getting everything in place to be ready for the start of trials of Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, Francis Muthaura and Joshua arap Sang.

“As with any judicial process, we face challenges. We are working hard every day to address efforts to interfere with our witnesses and our evidence. We are also working to resolve delays in the execution of our requests by the government of Kenya.”

During her five-day stay in the country, she will meet President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, other government officials, members of the civil society and the international community.

She will later in the week visit Naivasha, Nakuru and Eldoret where she will meet with victims of PEV before holding another press conference on Thursday evening.

The ICC ruled on January 23 that Kenyatta, Muthaura Ruto, and Sang will face trial for inciting violence following the disputed presidential election of December 2007.

Charges against Cabinet Minister Henry Kosgey and former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali were however dropped.

Ruto, Muthaura and Kenyatta all stand accused of instigating the violence that swept Kenya in late 2007 and early 2008.

Sang is accused of contributing towards the commission of these crimes by putting Kass FM at the disposal of those who organised the violence.

The ICC launched an investigation into the Kenyan cases in March 2010 after the country failed to initiate local prosecutions.

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