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ICC prosecutor: Kenya threats will not stop election violence prosecutions

Threats against witnesses will not prevent the prosecution of six individuals responsible for Kenya's 2007 post-election violence [JURIST news archive], International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said Friday. According to the statement, the prosecutor will obtain arrest warrants for the individuals behind these threats if they persist. Within the next two weeks, Moreno-Ocampo plans to present two cases against the six individuals involved in the 2007 post-election violence. These six people allegedly "bear the greatest responsibility" [JURIST report] for the post-election violence. There has been much speculation about who the six people will be, but it is anticipated [VOA report] that they will be high-ranking officials in Kenya and influential businessmen.

Last month, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) [advocacy website], which implicated former Cabinet minster William Ruto of interfering with the ICC investigation, denied accusations that it had bribed witnesses [JURIST report]. Two witnesses, Ken Braziz Wekesa and William Kepkemboi Rono, claimed they were bribed by the KNCHR [Daily Nation report], a government-funded human rights group, to testify to the ICC against Ruto, the former higher education minister. Moreno-Campo said that the court will not use testimony [JURIST report] from three Kenyan witnesses who claim they were bribed to provide false evidence against a high-ranking government official. In September, Kenyan businessman Joseph Gathungu filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality [JURIST report] of the ICC investigation into the violence following the 2007 Kenyan presidential election. The suit, which was filed in the High Court [GlobaLex backgrounder] in Mombasa, argues that the ICC investigation is illegal under the constitution adopted last month [JURIST report]. Violence following the 2007 Kenyan presidential election [JURIST report] left at least 1,000 people dead and 500,000 displaced after protests erupted from allegations that President Mwai Kibaki [official profile] committed voter fraud.

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