ICC: Kenya must fully cooperate in post-election violence investigation

[JURIST] International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda [official profile] expressed concern [press release] on Thursday that Kenya's government had delayed in turning over evidence to the ICC regarding the country's 2007-08 post-election violence [JURIST news archive]. Bensouda also expressed concern about witness intimidation and the "increasing climate of fear affecting those perceived to be ICC witnesses, their family members, as well as those perceived to be associated with the ICC." Kenyan government officials assured Bensouda that they would fully cooperate and would turn over the requested evidence in time so that the deadline for the final list of evidence on January 9 could be met. Bensouda stressed that the ICC was a fair and impartial body and that it was committed to bringing guilt individuals to justice:

our motivation is those who are indisputably the real victims of Kenya's PEV—families, women, men, children and babies who have been beaten, killed, burned, raped, mutilated, and dispossessed. For them and for the sake of all Kenyans, it is crucial to break the cycle of impunity and violence. Ensuring justice and accountability can play a part. We stand ready to do our part, but we can not do it alone, it is up to Kenyans to decide to make this happen, within a strong and united Kenya. I hope I can count on Kenyans in this joint endeavour.
Bensouda made this statement on the last day of the Nairobi segment of her visit to Kenya [JURIST report]. The trial of former Kenyan minister William Ruto and journalist Joshua Arap Sang [case materials] will begin [JURIST report] on April 10, 2013, while the trial of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former civil service chief Francis Muthaura [case materials] is to begin on April 11, 2013.

Bensouda was sworn in as ICC Prosecutor [JURIST report] in June. That month the ICC expressed its desire to start the two Kenyan trials simultaneously [JURIST report] to avoid any appearance of bias in the March 2013 presidential election. In May the appeals chamber of the ICC rejected [JURIST report] the jurisdiction challenges in the two cases presented by the defense, clearing the way for trial. The defense lawyers had argued that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the cases. The appeal stemmed from the pre-trial chamber's decision to confirm the charges [JURIST report] against the four men in January. The ICC claimed jurisdiction over the case despite Kenya's calls for dismissal [JURIST report]. The Kenyan government argued that it was capable of prosecuting the accused men domestically.

 

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