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ICC to Charge between Four and Six people regarding Post-Election Violence in Kenya

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Guest post by Geraldine Coughlan*

The International Criminal Court is to launch cases against as many as six suspected instigators of post-election violence in Kenya that left more than 1,000 people dead in 2007-08. The chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said in a statement that he will present two separate cases to judges before the end of the year charging between four and six people he believes “bear the greatest responsibility for the most serious crimes.” The statement did not mention the names of potential suspects or give more detail on when Mr. Moreno Ocampo would file the cases to judges at the court, who would authorize any arrest warrants. In April, Mr. Moreno Ocampo said he had a list of 20 possible suspects that included leaders of President Mwai Kibaki’s Party of National Unity and Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement. Kenya asked the court to help investigate the violence, but its commitment to cooperate with the world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal was called into question last month when the country refused to arrest Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir during a visit. Mr. Al-Bashir has been indicted for genocide for allegedly masterminding atrocities in Sudan’s Darfur region.

*Geraldine Coughlan, Correspondent for BBC World Service in The Hague.

Geraldine has a Master’s degree in European Law and Policy from The Hague University and she reports on developments at the International, European and Dutch domestic courts, for BBC and ICLB.

One Response to “ICC to Charge between Four and Six people regarding Post-Election Violence in Kenya”

  1. Steven Kay QC

    The Article 15 request by the Prosecutor, proprio motu, to bring an investigation, was narrowly decided with one Judge dissenting. It is the duty of the Prosecutor to evaluate the evidence to determine whether he has a case that meets the threshold requirement of crimes against humanity. This requires the attack upon the civilian population be part of a state or organisational policy.
    The Prosecutor in fact announced this number of cases in May 2010 on his visit to Kenya soon after leave to investigate was granted and before it had actually commenced. By announcing the launch of indictments then and now does not inspire confidence that the Prosecutor is appropriately assessing the evidence. Remember he was even sent away once to provide further details in the original Article 15 proceedings. The evidence of what happened here bears close scrutiny as to whether it does in fact meet the threshold upon which the ICC was founded to accept jurisdiction.
    A point worth remembering in all this is also that the ODM “Orange Democratic Movement” which challenged the original Kenyan election results and used words such as “genocide” (10 January 2008) replicated the tactics of the Orange movement in challenging the elections in Ukraine a few years earlier. Only the Kenyan Orange ODM were even doing this a few weeks before the elections took place!They also won more seats than any other party (by twice as many in fact) but the others united in a coalition that gave them the majority in Parliament for the PNU. We have moved very clearly into the world of manipulation here: stolen elections, allege genocide and stand back and watch the blue paper burn the fireworks.

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