Kenyan AG praises Bensouda, blasts Ocampo

October 8, 2012 12:48 pm
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Speaking in Nuremberg, Germany over the weekend, Muigai criticised former ICC Prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo’s approach, discrediting the manner in which he handled the Kenyan situation/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – Attorney General Githu Muigai has commended the working relationship between the Kenyan government and the current International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda.

Speaking in Nuremberg, Germany over the weekend, Muigai criticised former ICC Prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo’s approach, discrediting the manner in which he handled the Kenyan situation.

“During the tenure of the first prosecutor I found that it was not possible to sustain a professional dialogue with the court. Sometimes I found the prosecutor patronising, sometimes downright discourteous and disrespectful of a state party,” the AG complained.

He accused Ocampo of using the Kenyan situation to promote his career which made it difficult for the government to work efficiently with The Hague-based court.

“I was on many occasions shocked by what appeared to be the prosecutor’s self promotion using the Kenyan case… a case that was and is now extremely delicate arising out of complicated circumstances and where I would have expected a professional prosecutor to exercise the greatest possible caution,” he asserted.

Kenya failed to seek for a self referral, prompting Ocampo to use Article 53 of the Rome Statute to start investigations into the 2008 post-election violence.

Since he started investigations in Kenya in 2009, his character and professionalism came into sharp focus with sections of the Kenyan population accusing him and the court of political bias.

During the confirmation of charges hearings in September last year, defence lawyers accused Ocampo of using ‘anonymous’ witnesses whom they claimed he had coached to pin the Kenyan suspects.

Ocampo was also accused of relying on evidence from the civil society and that he did not carry out his own independent investigations.

According to Muigai, Bensouda has a different approach and workings between the court and the government of Kenya are now improving.

Muigai made his position known when he made a presentation on the progress Kenya has made in ensuring justice following the 2008 post-election violence in Kenya.

He told delegates attending a conference on the 10th anniversary of the ICC that Kenya’s case was complicated in view that there were two presidential candidates – Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.

Muigai also shared his thoughts that the cases against the two should be postponed in the event of a runoff after the March 4, 2013 presidential election.

The ICC has on many occasions announced that the calendar of the court in regards to the two Kenyan cases is not subject to local politics. It has also clarified that it will be up to Kenyans to choose their own president.

The hearing of the cases against Kenyatta, Ruto former civil service chief Francis Muthaura and Joshua arap Sang are due to kick off on April 10, 2013.

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