Deputy President William Ruto (left) and President Uhuru Kenyatta at a
past function. Kenya is calling for the termination of crimes against
humanity charges facing President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto at the
International Criminal Court May 8, 2013. FILE
NATION MEDIA GROUP
Thursday, May 09, 2013
Kenya is calling for the termination of crimes against humanity
charges facing President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William
Ruto at the International Criminal Court.
Former radio journalist Joshua Sang is the other Kenyan set to stand trial.
In a strongly worded statement
to the United Nations Security Council through Kenya’s Permanent
Representative to the UN Macharia Kamau, the government asked the UN to
present its petition to ICC during a meeting with The Hague court
prosecutor held on Tuesday.
“What this delegation is asking
for is not deferral. What this delegation is asking for is the immediate
termination of the case at the Hague without much further ado,” the
petition says in part.
The statement warned that
violence could break out in Kenya that would affect stability in the
entire region if President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto were forced to attend
trial at The Hague after having secured endorsement of the people in an
election despite the charges facing them.
The petition questioned the
jurisdiction, partiality and competence of the ICC, expressing the
government’s reservations over the manner in which the cases facing the
three have been handled.
Kenya argues that the
proceedings against President Kenyatta, Mr Ruto and Mr Sang are
misplaced in light of the prevailing circumstances and lack of cogent
evidence to back the charges.
“The original claims might have
been false and or manufactured. It has since come to light that the
evidence could be tainted and or procured through inducement and or
corrupt measures,” Mr Kamau said in a the confidential letter to Mr
Menan Kodjo, the President of the UN Security Council.
The two leaders and Mr Sang are
facing charges of crimes against humanity arising from the 2007-2008
post-election violence that led to the death of 1,133 people and 650,000
Mr Kamau’s letter comes hot on
the heels of a similar attack by his deputy Koki Muli Grignon, who last
month questioned the courts performance at the UN General Assembly.
Ms Grignon stated that continued
intervention by the ICC would jeopardise peace, stability and efforts
at communal reconciliation in Kenya.
“Punitive vengeance in the name
of justice cannot be a means to reconciliation; it instead festers
quietly until … it explodes,” Ms Grignon declared.
Mr Kamau adds President Kenyatta
and MNr Ruto “who are under question before the Court have not only
been the greatest agents of cohesion and but have been at the forefront
and are the glue that binds the country during the election and
It adds that continuation of the
case is not in the interest of peace and justice in Kenya, concluding
that the absence of the ICC suspects from the country may undermine the
prevailing peace not only in Kenya, but across the region.
“It is a fact that the very
suspects who are being prosecuted and suffice to say have received
overwhelming support from the citizens of Kenya in the just concluded
4th March 2013 elections,” the petition notes.
It adds that the support
President Kenyatta and his deputy received during elections suggest that
Kenyans are ready for them to be their political masters.
“This mandate was received from
the Kenyan public in exercise of their inalienable democratic rights and
civic duty,” Mr Kamau observes.
Kenya adds that the manner in which the cases
are being conducted is neither impartial nor independent. “There is no
demonstrable intent from this conduct to show that the main purpose of
the proceedings is to bring justice,” Mr Kamau says.
Kenya’s attempts to have the
cases facing President Kenyatta, Mr Ruto and Mr Sang at the ICC deferred
or terminated have centred on challenging the court’s jurisdictions
over the cases and in convincing the UN Security Council to postpone and
return the cases to Kenya.
The twin assaults begun
immediately after the naming on 15 December 2010 of six Kenyans as
suspected perpetrators of the killings which claimed more than 1,300
Kenyans and displaced more than 500, 000 others.
The first round of diplomacy,
which was led by then Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, targeted African
countries and it succeeded in persuading the African Union to accept to
its request of a deferral.
Then in February 2011, Mr
Musyoka left for Beijing to lobby China’s support for a 12-month
deferral even as former Agriculture Minister and diplomat, Dr Sally
Kosgei, was dispatched to Brazil and Washington to lobby super powers to
support Kenya’s bid to compel ICC to defer the cases to give the
country a chance to establish special judicial process to prosecute the
post-election violence suspects.
Then Attorney General Amos Wako
in March 2011 filed an application at the International Criminal Court
challenging cases facing six Kenyans summoned to make an initial
appearance at The Hague.
The government hired British lawyers Geoffrey Nice and Rodney Dixon to handle the suit. It lost the case.
On April 26, the East African
Legislative Assembly, passed a resolution urging the EAC Council of
Ministers to implore the ICC to transfer the cases to the East African
Court of Justice (EACJ).
The accused have also been
calling for deferral of the cases citing inclusion of evidence from five
new witnesses and the shortage of time for the defence to prepare its
The trial date for Mr Ruto and Joshua Sang has since been put off.
On Tuesday, Mr Kamau said the
election of President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto sent a clear
message to the world that the two persons were not only innocent but
also deserving of the highest office of the land.
Mr Kamau said the incoming
administration should be given a chance to start off without the 'yoke
and burden of the past fettering their action.’
The envoy said the country’s top
leadership cannot be expected to effectively perform their duties in an
orderly manner 'in the face of an offshore trail that has no popular
resonance and that serves no national or international purpose.’
“Neither can the state be expected to be orderly under such circumstances,” he said.
'The UNSC must therefore play
its role and bring this matter to a halt…we ask it to take the much
needed political stance that Kenya must be given the time and
opportunity to apply the principal of pre- eminence of National Courts,”
added Mr Kamau.
“The UNSC also has a duty and
obligation to assist Kenya overcome this serious politically sensitive
and potentially destabilising situation,” he went on pointing out that
the two cases before The Hague based court were crumbling fast.
He said the UNSC needs to take
'bold and decisive’ steps to ensure that Justice is done and the same is
achieved within the confines of the Rome Statute.
The envoy asked 'friendly nations’ in the UN
Security Council to use their good offices and prevail upon the ICC to
reconsider the Kenyan cases.
“Our hope is that the friendly
nations will see the merit in our case and understand the urgency and
gravity of the situation we face,” said Mr Kamau, “It is an affront to
the exercise of democratic space in a sovereign nation”.
He said Kenya had made
unprecedented steps in improving its governance systems and institutions
over the last two and a half years, including the adoption of a new
He said the ICC should be
regarded, she declared, as “the court of last resort” and suggested
repeatedly that Kenyan institutions were capable of delivering justice