It’s The Hague, Kenyans tell violence suspects

Tom Wolf, a research analyst, explains a point to journalists on Saturday. Synovate, formerly Steadman, has released its quarterly findings which indicate that the current economic crunch is weighing heavily on most Kenyans.

What you need to know:

  • Results reflect doubts that local courts can deliver justice in impartial

Kenyans want the perpetrators of the post-election violence tried at the International Criminal Court, a new opinion poll shows.

According to results released on Saturday by Synovate Research (formerly Steadman Group), 68 per cent of the 2,005 Kenyans interviewed support The Hague option for dealing with suspected perpetrators as a national debate rages over where the suspects should be tried.

Only 14 per cent of Kenyans want a local tribunal established while another 13 per cent favour a forgiveness and reconciliation commission, according to the survey.

The poll was conducted through computer-assisted telephone interviewing.

Tom Wolf, Synovate’s research analyst, said the polls were conducted before the “Waki Envelope” was handed over to International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo by Kofi Annan, chief mediator of the National Accord that paved the way for the formation of the grand coalition government.

“It is up to Kenyans to guess what the results would have looked like,” said Mr Wolf at a media briefing.

But Mr Wolf would be drawn on why a majority of Kenyans were for The Hague option, saying this was not part of poll questionnaire.

The findings come after Moreno Ocampo opened and read the list of the prime suspects of the election violence and the supporting evidence.

Moreno Ocampo however asserted that the contents of the “envelope” would remain confidential. Kenyans have serious doubts over the impartiality of the Judiciary and its ability to try the key violence suspects without interference from the Executive.

Moreno Ocampo said the ICC would continue its own investigations to reach “an impartial conclusion as to whether or not to investigate those individuals or others, or none.”

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights also released a list of more than 200 people, including seven Cabinet ministers, three assistant ministers and seven MPs suspected of involvement in the violence in which more than 1,300 people were killed and 350,000 others left homeless.

Among the Cabinet ministers named in the government-run human rights watchdog are Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Tourism minister Najib Balala and his National Heritage counterpart William ole Ntimama.

They have all denied playing any role in the violence. The Cabinet earlier in the week rejected two draft Bills prepared by Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo to pave the way for the establishment of a local special tribunal to try the cases.

Among the disputed clauses in the Bills were those that sought to strip the President of his immunity from prosecution; his power of clemency, and that barring the Attorney-General from exercising the powers to terminate cases.

The ministers are scheduled to meet again Monday.

This is the second time that the government is attempting to whip up support for the establishment of a local special tribunal.

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