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Bensouda is on her first visit to Kenya/ICC photo


ICC prosecutor meets Kibaki amid concerns

Bensouda is on her first visit to Kenya/ICC photo

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – President Mwai Kibaki on Tuesday met with the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor amid concerns that Kenya has been reluctant to surrender key evidence required in the prosecution of four Kenyans accused of crimes against humanity following the 2008 post-election violence.

During the meeting between ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Kibaki pledged that Kenya will hold peaceful elections to ensure the country does not follow the route of 2008.

“The Head of State said that the government is committed to ensuring free, fair and peaceful elections next year. President Kibaki emphasised that measures are underway to ensure that the country will be fully prepared by March next year for the polls,” a statement from the Presidential Press Service indicated.

Bensouda in her first press conference on Monday complained that the Kenyan government had delayed in submitting information the court had requested to use in the two cases against four Kenyans.

She also raised concerns over the continuing harassment and intimidation of victims and witnesses of the post election violence saying that the court was interested to tighten talks with the government to ensure their protection is assured.

Bensouda reiterated to the government officials that the court was independent and its main interest is to pursue justice for the victims of the 2008 violence.

She further clarified that the court will not bend its operations to fit in Kenya’s politics but will follow its judicial calendar irrespective of the country’s political process.

“She stressed that she is not against the Kenya government or any ethnic community, adding that the ICC will not interfere with the ongoing political processes in the country,” the statement indicated.

The meeting held at the Office of the President for the better part of Tuesday morning was also attended by Internal Security Minister Katoo ole
Metito, Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa and Attorney-General Githu Muigai.

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Later, Bensouda held meetings with members of the diplomatic corps.

She is later in the week expected to meet victims of the post election violence in the Rift Valley before giving a final briefing on Thursday evening following her five-day visit in the country.

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