Kenya on Friday inched closer to a special tribunal to try the 2007 post-election violence suspects when the lawyers’ lobby gave the thumbs up to a Bill seeking the creation of the tribunal.
The Law Society of Kenya said it would give the architect of the Bill, Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara, all the technical support he may need to see the perpetrators of the violence tried both locally and at The Hague.
LSK National chairman Okong’o Omogeni also urged MPs to support the Bill. “They should not be guided by political considerations. This is the time to end impunity in the country,” he said.
Mr Omogeni, who was speaking at Nyali Beach Hotel, Mombasa during a lawyers’ meeting, also urged MPs to sensitise Kenyans on the contents of the Bill to guard against misinformation.
Mr Imanyara’s Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2009 seeks to amend the Constitution to remove presidential immunity and the Attorney General’s powers to direct and terminate court cases. The Bill also seeks to remove powers of the President to pardon convicted criminals.
Mr Omogeni said a local tribunal would meet international standards but not stop the International Criminal Court (ICC) from prosecuting the masterminds of the political mayhem.
If adopted through a two-thirds majority vote by Parliament, the Bill will achieve the threshold of Article 27 of the Rome Statute that establishes the ICC.
In February, Parliament rejected a government Bill seeking the creation of a local tribunal and, five months later, President Mwai Kibaki formed the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC).
Among the TJRC’s mandates is to identify people whose rights were abused during the violence.
However, it does not have powers to prosecute the perpetrators.