NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has said the government’s bid to have the United Nations Security Council terminate two Kenyan cases before the war crimes court is futile, as the UN body lacks such powers.
ICC Outreach Coordinator Maria Kamara told Capital FM News on Friday that the Security Council only has authority to defer cases for a period of 12 months, according to Article 16 of the Rome Statute.
“No investigation or prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with under this Statute for a period of 12 months after the Security Council, in a resolution adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, has requested the court to that effect; that request may be renewed by the council under the same conditions,” Kamara indicated.
Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN Macharia Kamau last Friday sent a letter requesting the Security Council to ask the ICC to terminate proceedings against President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and former Kass FM presenter Joshua arap Sang, arguing the cases were a threat to Kenya’s national security and undermined the country’s sovereignty.
Kamau also said ICC should leave Kenya alone to allow Kenyatta and Ruto to lead the new government.
However on Thursday, Ruto through his lawyer Karim Khan distanced the deputy president from the letter, saying it did not represent government policy or his personal wishes.
He said Ruto and President Kenyatta had made a commitment to honour international institutions and also cooperate with The Hague-based court to clear their names.
Sang through his lawyer Katwa Kigen also disowned the application by the envoy saying he was not consulted when the plea was drafted.
Like Ruto and Kenyatta, Kigen said his Sang was ready to stand full trial to prove his innocence.
He said Sang will not look for other alternative routes but follow the dual court proceedings.
Kamau, in the letter, described the ICC cases as a voice of external forces and termed the investigations as shoddy as the prosecution evidence and witnesses lacked credibility.
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda was quoted by the Daily Nation saying that Kenya had made “unfounded and incorrect” claims in urging it to end the cases facing the three
Fatou Bensouda described Kenya’s appeal to the UN Security Council last week as “a backdoor attempt to politicise the judicial processes” of the ICC the newspaper said.
Noting that she has not received a copy of the May 2 letter sent to the council by Kamau, Bensouda said she was speaking in response to earlier comments made to the council by Rwanda’s ambassador.