New court division needs special prosecutor

June 6, 2013 4:05 pm
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Africa International Centre for Transitional Justice Deputy Director, Njonjo Mue said this would ensure that victims of the violence get justice without interference from external forces/FILE
International Centre for Transitional Justice Deputy Director, Njonjo Mue said this would ensure that victims of the violence get justice without interference from external forces/FILE
NAIROBI Kenya, Jun 6 – A civil society organisation now wants the proposed International Crimes Division of the High Court to have a special prosecutor to deal with post election violence cases.

International Centre for Transitional Justice Deputy Director, Njonjo Mue said this would ensure that victims of the violence get justice without interference from external forces.

Speaking during the release of a report on post-election violence at a Nairobi hotel on Thursday, Mue asked the Judicial Service Commission to adopt the proposal noting that little had been done to bring justice to the victims.

He argued that other suspected perpetrators of the post election violence should also be held to account because the International Criminal Court (ICC) was only targeting four Kenyans for the crimes.

“It is unfortunate that the perpetrators of these crimes continue to walk freely while the victims suffer in anguish,” he observed.

Mue said that the new prosecutor should use evidence that had already been collected and filed in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to target other perpetrators.

“There should be no other investigation as this will mean starting the whole process afresh since many things have now changed. The faster justice is delivered to the victims the better,” Mue opined.

He however cautioned the International Crimes Division against being used to prosecute other crimes other than those committed during the 2007-2008 violence.

While reacting to the African Union (AU) resolution against the ICC, Mue added that witnesses would not be safe if cases were brought back.

He refuted claims by the AU that the ICC was being used by western powers to disgrace African leaders arguing that the Court wanted to bring justice to the whole world.

The civil society report dubbed ‘Securing Justice’ recommends the adoption of legislation creating special procedures for post-election violence cases and the establishment of a special unit working independent of the existing Witness Protection Agency.

Mue further observed that the Rome Statute allowed the ICC to hold trials outside of The Hague as long as the security of witnesses can be guaranteed.

He added that there were portions of the trial that needed to be held away from the country for the security of witnesses and victims.

“There are portions of the trial that are formal and can be held anywhere but the substantive ones for example instances where witnesses will need to testify, it is not feasible to conduct them in Kenya,” he explained.

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