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ICC chief prosecutor outlines steps for Kenya election violence investigation

[JURIST] International Criminal Court [official website] chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] on Thursday announced his plans [statement] to proceed with the investigation of those responsible for the violence following the 2007 Kenyan presidential election [JURIST new archive]. Moreno-Ocampo previously submitted a list of 20 suspects [JURIST report] to the ICC, including senior political and business leaders, but he stated that this list is "not binding." The prosecutor said he expects there to be two cases, each involving one to three people whom he will determine after reviewing the evidence to be the most responsible. He called upon all Kenyans to assist in the investigation, stating:

I will engage in this process with the Kenyans, with all the communities. This Court is their Court. Kenyan leaders - women, youth, tribal, judicial, political, religious, all have a role to play. I want to understand them and analyze how my office and all Kenyans can work together to prevent of [sic] future violence. The 50th anniversary of Kenya's independence is coming, it will be a historic opportunity to show an example of how one country overcomes violence.

Moreno-Ocampo stated that he plans to travel to Kenya in May to interview witnesses and made assurances that those witnesses will be protected from being exposed. He plans to "finalize the bulk of the investigation" during the remainder of this year.

On Wednesday, the ICC granted [JURIST report] Moreno-Ocampo's request to proceed with a formal investigation of the post-election violence. His request marked the first time Moreno-Ocampo used his proprio motu power, which allows him to initiate formal investigations upon authorization by the Pre-Trial Chamber. The allegations of fraud [JURIST report] following the 2007 elections led to violence that caused the deaths of more than 1,000 people and displacement of 500,000 others.

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