Kenya pledges plan for prosecuting 2007 post-election  crimes by September

Kenya pledges plan for prosecuting 2007 post-election crimes by September

[JURIST] A Kenyan government delegation headed by Minister of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs [ministry website] Mutula Kilonzo Kenya pledged in a Friday meeting [press release; minutes] with International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Prosecutor Luis Ocampo [official profile] that by September Kenya would present a detailed plan for prosecuting those responsible for the most serious crimes committed during the December 2007 post-elections violence [JURIST news report]. The Kenyan delegation also pledged to inform the ICC of the current status of investigations and prosecutions, as well as measures taken to ensure victim and witness safety. Ocampo confirmed that, as initially announced in February [statement, PDF], his office "is conducting its preliminary analysis on the situation in Kenya." The ICC will intervene as a court of last resort if Kenya fails to undertake what the ICC considers to be genuine investigations and prosecutions of post-election crimes that may fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC, to which Kenya is subject as a State Party to the Rome Statute [ICC materials].

In June, Amnesty International [advocacy website] Secretary General Irene Khan urged [press release] the Kenyan government to address impunity for human rights violations [JURIST report] committed by police and security forces during the December 2007 unrest. Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan [official website], called in at the beginning of 2008 to mediate and end the violence, has threatened to give the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] a sealed list of key suspects for prosecution if Kenya does not undertake judicial proceedings itself.