Kenya rebuffs Bensouda’s push for financial details

December 23, 2013 5:11 pm
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ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda pauses for a photo with Kenya's AG Githu Muigai during the Assembly of States Parties in the Hague in November. Photo/FILE
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda pauses for a photo with Kenya’s AG Githu Muigai during the Assembly of States Parties in the Hague in November. Photo/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 23 – The Kenyan government has refused to furnish the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with the private financial details of the three ICC accused.

Attorney General Githu Muigai said that the information sought cannot be granted without Fatou Bensouda getting a Court order as well as the individuals’ consents.

Muigai explained in his response to Trial Chamber V(b) that she must obtain a Court order as well as the consents of President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang to access their financial information including their banking activities.

“The Prosecution in paragraph 9 of the Requests Letter sought the assistance of the government of Kenya in accessing bank account and financial transaction information relating to accused persons held by the Central Bank of Kenya,” explained Muigai.

Bensouda had also sought for details of the accused persons regarding their dealings at the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) as well as information from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority.

But Muigai said Court orders with compelling reasons why, must first be given because the Kenyan Constitution protects the right to privacy and confidentiality.

“The Prosecution in paragraph 9 of the Requests Letter also sought the government of Kenya assistance in having the CMA identify any links between the individuals and share dealing or investment banking since June 2007,” revealed the Attorney General.

He added that it would be difficult for Kenya to give such information to the prosecution without giving the accused a chance to explain themselves because it could be used to unduly incriminate them.

Bensouda moved to the Trial Chamber complaining about Kenya’s lack of cooperation arguing that the matter should be forwarded to the Assembly of States Parties.

Muigai however wants her request declared as untenable saying the Court should order the prosecution to follow due process in its request.

“Consultations anticipated between States Parties and the Court to resolve the matter on measures of assistance sought by the Prosecution which are prohibited under the laws of Kenya have not been initiated and concluded,” he argued.

The ICC formally asked Kenya to respond to Bensouda’s claims of non cooperation by January 8, next year.

Bensouda said that she had requested for the said information from Kenya several times but that help had not been forthcoming.

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