Suspended Cabinet ministers William Ruto and Henry Kosgey and radio announcer Joshua Sang have been summoned to answer charges of murder and forcible eviction of people.
They will appear before the International Criminal Court at The Hague on April 7 for confirmation of the charges which, if granted, will lead to full trial.
The Pre-Trial Chamber ordered the six not to have any contact with witnesses or victims.
They were also ordered to refrain from corruptly influencing witnesses, obstructing or interfering with the attendance or testimony of a witness, or tampering with or interfering with the Prosecution’s collection of evidence; to refrain from committing crime(s) set forth in the Statute; and to attend all required hearings at the International Criminal
Two of the judges, Ekaterini Trendafilova and Cuno Tarfusser concurred but Judge Hans-Peter Kaul dissented with the ruling. He will issue his written dissenting opinion later.
After reviewing the case presented by Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the judges ruled:
“In view of the foregoing, the Chamber is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that, from 30 December 2007 until end of January 2008, Ruto and Kosgey are criminally responsible as indirect co-perpetrators of the Statute, and that Sang is criminally responsible as having contributed to crimes committed by a group of persons in locations including Turbo town, the greater Eldoret area (Huruma, Kiambaa, Kimumu, Langas, and Yamumbi), Kapsabet town, and Nandi Hills town, in the Uasin Gishu and Nandi Districts, Republic of Kenya.
The crimes were given as murder, forcible transfer of populations and persecution.
“The Chamber therefore decides to issue summonses to appear, pursuant to article of the Statute, for the three persons, being satisfied that this measure is sufficient to ensure their appearance before the Court.”
The judges added: “For these reasons, the chamber orders summonses to be issued for William Samoei Ruto, born on 21 December 1966 in Kamagut village, Kenya, currently a suspended Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Kenya; Henry Kiprono Kosgey, born on 14 July 1947 Nandi district, Kenya, currently Minister of Industrialisation of the Republic of Kenya and the Chairman of the ODM; and Joshua arap Sang, born in Kitale, Trans-Nzoia District, Kenya, currently the head of operations at Kass FM in Nairobi to appear before the Court on Thursday, 7 April 2011 at 9.30 hours for the purposes of the hearing to be held pursuant.”
The Registrar was asked to serve Mr Ruto, Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang with the summonses. The Registrar was also asked to request the Kenya government to cooperate with the ICC.
The three have indicated that they will cooperate with the court and appear whenever summoned.
The move is crucial if they are to avoid orders to be arrested and detained at The Hague while the case is being heard.
Pushing for the summonses, Mr Moreno-Ocampo had argued that the violence that erupted in the Rift Valley was not spontaneous; rather, it was the product of planning and coordination led by Mr Ruto, together with Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang.
He noted that in anticipation of the 2007 presidential election, the three created a plan to expel PNU supporters from the Rift Valley in the event that the election was rigged.
This plan would have the twofold effect of punishing PNU supporters and removing PNU supporters from the Rift Valley to gain power by creating a future pro-ODM voting bloc.
“To execute this plan, Ruto, with Kosgey and Sang, created a network of perpetrators from existing structures in the Rift Valley. The network consisted of: pro-ODM political figures; media representatives, particularly Sang in his role as a prominent host on Kass FM; financiers; regional tribal elders; and former members and leaders of Kenyan police and military sectors,” the application reads.
The three are accused of organising the network to plan, coordinate and later execute attacks on perceived PNU supporters in the Rift Valley. The application says that at a series of meetings, rallies and other events, they planned and incited attacks, and distributed resources to subordinate members of the “network” who would physically execute the attacks.
They allegedly coordinated the “network” by selecting commanders to oversee specific areas in the Rift Valley, creating a hierarchy below each commander, coordinating transportation and logistics, coordinating the dissemination of meeting locations, fundraising, distributing “Mr Ruto’s money” and promising rewards for every PNU supporter killed or property destroyed, paying direct perpetrators, identifying target areas, and providing guns, grenades and ammunition to the perpetrators to ensure that they had the necessary resources to succeed.
The prosecutor adds that immediately following the announcement of the presidential election results, the “network” began to execute attacks against PNU supporters in various locations in Uasin Gishu and Nandi Districts, including Turbo town, the greater Eldoret area (Kiambaa, Yamumbi, Haruma, Kimumu and Langas), Kapsabet town, and Nandi Hills town, with the intent to expel them from the Rift Valley.
“The crimes that are the subject of this Application occurred predominantly within a 25km radius of a house that Ruto owns in Sugoi (Uasin Gishu District), where he held meetings to plan the attacks,” the application says.
[NOTE: This version removes an inaccuracy that the suspects were ordered not to contact one another.]