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Judges appointed to hear Wambora, Barasa petitions

Justices Isaac Lenaola, Mumbi Ngugi and George Odunga will hear Barasa's petition/FILE

Justices Isaac Lenaola, Mumbi Ngugi and George Odunga will hear Barasa’s petition/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15 – Chief Justice, Willy Mutunga has appointed judges to determine various constitutional questions that were raised in the High Court, in cases filed by journalist Walter Barasa and another by Governor Martin Wambora and his deputy.

A statement from the Judiciary stated that Justices Isaac Lenaola, Mumbi Ngugi and George Odunga will hear Barasa’s petition which is seeking termination of the International Criminal Court cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang.

The Eldoret-based journalist, who is fighting extradition to The Hague-based court, argues the Rome Statute which created the ICC was not in force in Kenya when the post-election violence occurred between December 3, 2007 and February 28, 2008.

Through his lawyer Kibe Mungai, the scribe said the crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity under Article 5 of the Rome Statute were not crimes in Kenya during the post-election violence.

According to him, the pending trials before the ICC against Uhuru, Ruto and Sang are constitutionally invalid, null and void.

He said the ICC is barred by Articles 11 and 22 of the Rome Statute from issuing a warrant of arrest where the said trials are constitutionally invalid in a member state.

Barasa is seeking a declaration that the Rome Statute and international criminal law were not applicable or in force in Kenya during the post-election violence and that the International Crimes Act came into force in January 1, 2009.

Justices Hedwig Ongudi, Cecilia Githua and Boaz Olao have been appointed to hear a consolidated case and interpret, the constitutional implications, of Article 181, which only speaks on the impeachment of the Governor, but remains silent, on the deputy governor.

The cases were enjoined after the former Embu Governor and his Deputy Dorothy Nditi, separately moved to court challenging the legality of the recent impeachment proceedings- against them, by the Embu County Assembly.

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Wambora’s fate was sealed on Friday night when Senate overwhelmingly voted to impeach him, but spared Dorothy Nditi.

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