[JURIST] The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Wednesday issued summonses for six Kenyan citizens [press release] believed to be responsible for post-election violence in 2007 [JURIST news archive] that resulted in more than 1,000 deaths in that country. The six individuals include current Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and several Ministry heads. All six are believed to have fomented violence, rape and destruction of property during the 30 days of violence. Two summonses were issued [Ruto, Kosgey, Sang summons, PDF; Muthara, Kenyatta, Ali summons, PDF], each for three of the individuals in question, pursuant to Article 58 of the Rome Statute [PDF], for crimes against humanity. In issuing the summonses, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official website] stated:
The post election period of 2007-2008 was one of the most violent periods of the nation’s history. These were not just crimes against innocent Kenyans. They were crimes against humanity as a whole. By breaking the cycle of impunity for massive crimes, victims and their families can have justice. And Kenyans can pave the way to peaceful elections in 2012.
US President Barack Obama has called on the Kenyan government to cooperate [press release] fully with the ICC, even as the news of the summonses was met with derision by Kenyan officials [KBC report].
Earlier this month, Moreno-Ocampo rejected the notion [JURIST report] that threats of violence would delay the prosecution of the as-of-that-time unnamed suspects. Last month, the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights, which implicated former Cabinet minster William Ruto of interfering with the ICC investigation, denied accusations that it had bribed witnesses [JURIST report]. Moreno-Campo had also 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 post-election violence.