Embassy clears 41 MPs for trip to The Hague

Belgut MP Charles Keter receives visas at the Netherlands embassy on March 31,2011. Mr Keter is coordinating the entourage that will be escorting the Ocampo Six to their initial appearance at the ICC. Photo/HEZRON NJOROGE

Forty one MPs have been cleared by the Dutch Embassy to escort the Ocampo Six to their initial appearance at the International Criminal Court.

The MPs, including Cabinet minister Beth Mugo and 10 assistant ministers, are allies of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and suspended minister William Ruto.

Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are among the six individuals that International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo wants tried over the post-election violence.

They leave for The Hague on Tuesday evening to attend the initial appearances scheduled for Thursday and Friday in the public gallery of the ICC courtrooms.

On Monday, three more MPs were still trying to get visas from the embassy to join the entourage. (READ: MPs ‘will cater’ for bills in trip to The Hague)

“At least 40 members of Parliament are accompanying the Ocampo Six.

“They have received visas and I am now trying to confirm flight arrangements,” said Belgut MP Charles Keter, who was coordinating the team.

Apart from Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto, others summoned by the Pre-Trial Chamber are Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey, public service boss Francis Muthaura, former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali and Kass FM radio presenter Joshua Sang.

“The hearing is being held in order to verify the identity of the suspects and to ensure that they have been informed of the crimes which they are alleged to have committed as well as of their rights under the Rome Statute, founding treaty of the ICC,” a statement from The Hague reads.

Mr Ruto, Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang will arrive in court at 11.30am (9.30am Hague time) on Thursday to be read the charges that have been brought against them by Mr Moreno-Ocampo.

They are alleged to have played a key role in the crimes against humanity in Turbo Town, the greater Eldoret area, Kapsabet Town, Nandi Hills Town, and Uasin Gishu and Nandi districts.

The prosecutor accuses them of committing murder, forceful evictions and persecution, which are all classified as crimes against humanity.

Mr Kenyatta, Mr Muthaura and Maj-Gen Ali will have their turn on Friday, arriving for the initial appearance in court at 4.30pm (2.30pm Hague time).

They face charges of being behind the murders, forceful eviction, rape, persecution and other crimes against humanity in Naivasha and Nakuru.