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Kenya appeals ICC decision on jurisdiction for post-election violence cases

Kenyan Attorney General Amos Wako on Monday appealed [text, PDF] the refusal by the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] to transfer two cases against high-ranking Kenyan officials for their alleged involvement in the violence after the 2007 Kenyan elections [JURIST news archive]. In response, the ICC called for a hearing [press release] "to properly assess the desirability and feasibility of conducting the confirmation of charges hearings in the Republic of Kenya." Wako announced his country's intent to appeal the decision [JURIST report] soon after the ICC announced that they were denying [text, PDF; press release] Kenya's request to transfer the cases last week. The men facing charges in the ICC, the "Ocampo Six," are accused of inciting violence after the 2007 Kenyan elections which resulted in more than 1,100 deaths, 3,500 injuries, hundreds of rapes and up to 600,000 individuals being forcibly displaced.

The Ocampo Six include several high-ranking members of Kenya's government, the head of operations at Kass FM [official website] in Nairobi and the son of Kenya's first president, Jomo Kenyatta [Africa Within backgrounder]. Three of the men are members of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) [party website], and the other three are members of the opposing Party for National Unity (PNU). The ODM suspects are charged with fomenting violence against PNU members following the 2007 elections because they believed the election of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki [official profile] to be rigged. In response, the PNU suspects are charged with the conspiring with the Mungiki criminal organization [Safer Access backgrounder, PDF] to attack members of the ODM party. The ICC summoned the suspects [JURIST report] after determining they would not be charged in Kenya for the alleged crimes. In April, Kenya requested that the ICC dismiss the case [JURIST report], arguing that the government is capable of prosecuting the six men domestically. Lawyers for the Ocampo Six called for the timely release of evidence [JURIST report] against their clients that month as well.

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