NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – Speaking for the first time on the Kenya cases since his term as International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor ended, Luis Moreno-Ocampo reckons the peace Kenya is currently experiencing following the March 4 General Election, is in part due to him.
In a story published by the Washington Post, Ocampo said the cases he filed against six Kenyan suspects in connection with the violence Kenya experienced following the 2007 General Election helped dissuade politicians from instigating violence this year.
On the presidential race which included two of the original six suspects, President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, Ocampo said: “the same players, but playing a different game.”
Getting politicians and the Kenyan people to shun violence Ocampo said, had been his intention all along and the ultimate goal of the cases he filed against Kenyatta, Ruto, former Civil Service chief Francis Muthaura, ex-police chief Hussein Ali, Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey and radio personality Joshua Sang.
The former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, Ocampo said, should also get some praise for successfully bringing the warring sides to the table and negotiating for reforms in the Judiciary and police force.
Ocampo added that dropping of the case against Muthaura by his successor Fatou Bensouda on account of what she termed witness tampering could have been avoided, if the ICC had granted his petition for the issuance of arrest warrants against those suspected of intimidating the witnesses and their families.
“When we requested the judges to act… to arrest some individuals, they refused. To prove the threats to the families of our witnesses in Kenya, the judges requested a high level of evidence that we cannot fulfil because our witnesses were in Kenya… We could not disclose the names (of the witnesses) because they were in Kenya and then there would be problems for them.”
The former prosecutor denied knowingly advancing the case against Muthaura based on doubtful testimony from a witness, saying the truth would have come out in trial, “That is why the trial is so important. The trial is the moment of truth.”
Half of the cases against the original six suspects have been dropped leaving Kenyatta, Ruto and Sang to stand trial.
Kenyatta’s lawyers are however working to have the charges against him dropped following the withdrawal of charges against Muthaura by Bensouda.
Bensouda is adamant that there is still enough evidence to try Kenyatta. “The withdrawal of the charges against Mr Muthaura does not impact upon the factual case the prosecution will present against Mr Kenyatta. That case remains unaltered.”
Ocampo now heads the FIFA ethics committee after leaving the ICC Prosecutor’s office in June 2012.