, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 27 – A number of leaders have lauded the Assembly of States Parties for accepting Kenya’s plea on Rule 68 in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang.
Speaking following the adoption of Kenya’s report, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen described it as a significant step towards vindicating the Deputy President and Sang.
He stated that following the development, justice will prevail in both cases.
“We are happy because our plea has been heard at the Assembly of States Parties in The Hague. Right now, the use of recanted evidence cannot be allowed. As leaders we are very happy and we are sure that going forward, the rule of law will prevail in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang,” he said.
Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa echoed his sentiments and pointed out though the negotiations had been difficult, the rule of law prevailed in the end.
“I must say we are very excited that our prayers have been answered. Our friends both at the Bureau and at the Assembly of States Parties have heard the cry by the Kenyan State and our prayers accepted. We have come out victorious,” he stated.
The leaders described it as a vindication of the principled position of the Government of Kenya and a rejection of the position taken by the Kenyan opposition in their letter to the Assembly of States parties.
“Kenya’s interpretation of Rule 68 has prevailed and therefore any use of recanted evidence cannot and must not be acceptable or applied at the International Criminal Court (ICC). This victory comes after strenuous efforts by Parliamentarians, the Executive of Kenya and Kenyans of goodwill and that demonstrates what can be achieved when Kenyans are united,” they stated.
“We emphasize that Kenya remains a country of laws and the Government of Kenya respects and upholds the rule of law, constitutionalism and the fight against impunity,” they said.
The Assembly of States Parties adopted a report reaffirming that recanted testimony against Ruto and Sang will not be used.
The resolution was adopted following intense lobbying by the Kenyan team which had earlier threatened to leave the conference.
“Following the debate on the supplementary items “Review of the Application and implementation of Amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence introduced at the 12th Assembly,” the Assembly recalled its resolution ICC-ASP/12/Res.7 dated 27th November 2013 which amended rule 68 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, which entered into force on the above date and consistent with the Rome Statute reaffirmed its understanding that the amended rule 68 shall not be applied retroactively,” the resolution stated in part.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed however, said there was a lot of mistrust amongst States Parties which makes it difficult to pursue a common agenda.
She indicated that while serious doubts have been cast on the credibility of the commitments of this Assembly, it has become quite clear that Kenya and Africa continues to hold the Rome Statute framework as a critical bastion of justice.
She pointed out that Kenya had initially proposed for adoption by the Assembly comprehensive language, which more completely captured the consensus from two years ago.
She stated that the proposals were couched in specific text which has been modified to accommodate the views and concerns of other delegations.
While welcoming the ASP’s approval, Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki said the new resolution will have a huge impact on the Kenyan cases at the ICC.