NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 20 – Jubilee Members of Parliament have criticised the International Criminal Court (ICC) for admitting prior recorded statements made by witnesses who had claimed they were coached.
Senate Deputy Speaker Kembi Gitura who read the statement on behalf of the over 40 legislators said by admitting the evidence, the court had demonstrated utter failure of justice.
“By accepting un-sworn witness statements made outside the presence of judges which have been repudiated by their authors – who also went ahead to give a different account of the matter in question – the chamber completely discounted the importance of credible evidence in criminal trial, thereby obliterating basic tenets of justice,” said Gitura.
He claimed the witness statements were concocted and motivated by political bias, personal interest and were not fit to have been admitted as evidence saying this marked the court’s decent to travesty.
“The court has confirmed that the trial is no longer about justice and accountability… it is clear ICC is not a forum where fair determination based on evidence is necessary or feasible,” Gitura added.
Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale reiterated Gitura’s sentiments, accusing the court of playing to the gallery of certain individuals who were keen on scuttling the Jubilee Government, saying they will not succeed in their endeavours.
“I think Moreno Ocampo (former ICC prosecutor) must come back and confess to (Fatou) Bensouda that this whole thing is to fix individuals,” he said.
He said their attempts to turn communities against each other by insinuating that the Jubilee Administration was sidelining Deputy President Ruto and setting him up for failure ahead of the 2017 general election were baseless.
“We will not abandon the Deputy President as a coalition; we are standing with the president… we are standing with the people of Kenya and we will tell people that Kenya is an independent State and it will fight for its rights as a member of the assembly,” added Duale.
Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi also came to the defence of the Deputy President saying his case would collapse just as the others did since it was not criminal and simply political to dent his career.
“In a normal criminal case you follow a trail of evidence which leads you to the accused, but in this particular case, we go for the accused first then look for evidence to try and fix him…this is usually the problem with all other criminal cases,” he said.
The MPs further claimed that since the collapse of the cases of the ‘Ocampo Four’ with the two remaining cases lacking substantive evidence The Hague based court was bent on redeeming itself so as to bolster institutional legitimacy.
“The quest for ICC jurisprudence should not be a race to the bottom rather it should uphold integrity, impartiality, objectivity and fairness,” said Gitura.
“There is no longer any doubt that ICC is a racket experimenting with rules,” said Murungi.
He added that the victims of the 2007/2008 post poll violence who were hoping to get justice from the process were further from justice today compared to the period before the matter was taken up by the ICC.
The said ICC should recognise the fact that it was a partner and a valid stakeholder and not treat it as an ‘unworthy stepchild’.
“The relationship with ICC and the entire Rome Statute mechanism must be on the basis of fairness, integrity and justice and must conform with Kenya’s national cohesion, sovereign aspirations and commitment to accountability,” added Gitura.