Lawyers fault ICC investigations

December 3, 2013 2:00 pm
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Most of the lawyers who met at a Nairobi hotel on Tuesday said Fatou Bensouda and her predecessor Luis Moreno Ocampo did not take time to gather sufficient evidence/FILE
Most of the lawyers who met at a Nairobi hotel on Tuesday said Fatou Bensouda and her predecessor Luis Moreno Ocampo did not take time to gather sufficient evidence/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 3 – Legal experts who attended a debate on the Kenyan cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have faulted the prosecutor for failing to properly investigate the cases.

Most of the lawyers who met at a Nairobi hotel on Tuesday said Fatou Bensouda and her predecessor Luis Moreno Ocampo did not take time to gather sufficient evidence.

Led by Nairobi-based Advocate Njenga Mwangi, the lawyers observed that most of the evidence in the Kenyan cases was fabricated while some was sourced from people of questionable character.

Mwangi pointed out the circumstances surrounding the testimony of Witness 4, who had stated that he attended a meeting held in different venues in Nairobi to plan counter-attacks in Rift Valley but retracted the statement at a later date.

“It appears as though the court was determined to confirm the charges and the prosecution was convinced that there were substantial grounds to proceed with the case even though the investigations were questionable. That is probably why the defence team were denied the right to appeal,” argued Mwangi.

Citing the trial of Deputy President William Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang, the lawyer said most of the evidence tabled was questionable because the witnesses disowned some of the statements provided by the prosecution.

Ruto and Sang’s trial adjourned two weeks ago to January next year while President Kenyatta is scheduled to go on trial on February 5.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta is not saying that he will not go to the ICC to attend his trials. We are saying that the process must be just and above board. Looking at how the cases are advancing, it appears as though there were deliberate attempts to mislead the Pre-Trial chamber,” he added.

The Assembly of States Parties which met in The Hague last week resolved that persons holding extra ordinary positions can be represented by counsel at their trials.

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