What you need to know:
- Court to move in after meeting with Kenyan team at the end of September
The International Criminal Court could decide to take over trials of key poll chaos suspects after meeting a government delegation at the end of September.
An official of the court made the revelation on Sunday as two Cabinet ministers and assistant ministers vowed to shoot down a Bill that is meant to set up a local tribunal to try the suspects.
The ICC’s head of the Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division, Ms Beatrice Le Fraper Du Hellen, said they were making progress on the analysis of the evidence they had received on the violence. Mr Luis Moreno-Ocampo is the prosecutor of the court at the Hague.
“The preliminary examination is going on well, we are exploiting all the material received from the Waki Commission and the reports from the Kenyan Government and civil society,” she said in reply to questions sent to her by the Daily Nation.
Du Hellen said The Hague was bound by the agreement it signed with the government delegation in July and would seek a meeting once it expires. The pact committed the government to establish a local tribunal by the end of September, failure of which it would hand over the trials to Mr Moreno-Ocampo.
“The Government of Kenya has committed to keeping us updated and to having a meeting at the end of September,” she said. “We are looking forward to this continued cooperation. We are on track. Once the OTP (Office of the Prosecutor) is on track, it cannot be derailed.”
Speaking separately, ministers Kiraitu Murungi (Energy), William Ruto (Agriculture) and assistants Asman Kamama (Higher Education) and Kareke Mbiuki (Agriculture) took issue with the Bill, saying it had a sinister motive.
Mr Murungi said he would respect the spirit of collective responsibility of the Cabinet and oppose the Bill sponsored by Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara.
“The Cabinet resolved to reject a local tribunal to try the post-election violence suspects. I will vote in Parliament in this spirit. The immunity of the President is paramount. Our priority is to reconcile, promote peace, unity and stability in the country,” he said.
He was speaking to journalists after attending a South Imenti leaders’ meeting at Igoji Teachers’ Training College.
Mr Ruto, who was speaking in Matungu, Mumias, opposed the Bill, arguing that the chairman of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya must face the law first for bungling the election.
“The former ECK officials must be tried first before those suspected to have stoked mayhem are arrested and tried,” he said.
“ODM refused to go to court after a bungled election and opted for mass action that degenerated into blood- shed, so let us deal with the ECK former officials first,” he said.
Mr Kamama and Mr Mbiuki said they were opposed to the clause seeking to clip presidential immunity from prosecution.
“If we have a president being charged, he will not carry out his duties effectively,” said Mr Kamama during the Igembe North cultural festival.
Additional reporting by John Shilitsa