NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 16 – The United Nations has relaxed its policy that restricts its officials from interacting with suspects facing charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
According to a circular issued by UN chief Ban Ki-Moon which was published on the Foreign Policy Magazine website, Ban says officials of UN are free to interact with people summoned by the court without any restrictions as long as the individuals continue to cooperate with the court.
“Interactions between UN officials and a person who is a subject of summons to appear and who is complying with that summons and cooperating with the ICC may carry on without restrictions. Such interactions do not undermine the authority of the court,” the website indicated.
UN has been closely interacting with President Uhuru Kenyatta who is facing charges of crimes against humanity at the ICC.
On Monday Kenyatta opened the 24th Session of the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlement Programme where he pledged that Kenya will abide by the rules of international cooperation.
Based on the explanations on the post on the Foreign Policy website, it means UN will continue to engage with Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto as long as they keep their promise of cooperating with the court.
However the international body said it does not for example engage with individuals who have failed to cooperate with the court a case in point being Sudanese President Omar al Bashir who is being sought by the court.
ICC issued a warrant of arrest against Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir and the court is expecting member states to arrest him as required by the Rome Statute in case he sets foot in their country.
However Bashir has been in several member countries including Kenya and Libya which are member countries.
“This changes if the person concerned ceases to comply with the summons and to cooperate with the court,” UN asserted.
Kenyatta, Ruto and Sang have been cooperating with the court from the time they appeared in the infamous list of the ‘Ocampo six’ who have now become ‘Bensouda three’.
They have also made pledges to continue cooperating with the court to clear their names.
The Trial Chamber is expected to make rulings in the Kenyatta case to decide if his case will be referred back to the Pre-Trial Chamber or if charges against him will be dropped after his co-accused former Head of Civil Service had his charges withdrawn.