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Archive for December, 2010

The Guardian, Afua Hirsch Dec 17 2010

The international criminal court has proved one of the most controversial international institutions since its creation in 2002, drawing fire from some for its exclusive focus on Africa, and accused by others of pursuing the policy objectives of America and Europe.

But America has also been hostile to the court, refusing to join it for fear its own citizens could be put on trial for war crimes. The cables reveal American preoccupation with the personalities in the court and an attempt to discern their views on Iraq from the outset.

One cable, sent in July 2003, three months after Luis Moreno-Ocampo was elected as chief prosecutor, offered an “early glimpse” into his stance and reveals American unease about the possibility that he could pursue cases over British actions in Iraq.

“Less clear are [Ocampo’s] views on Iraq,” the cable states. “Ocampo has said that he was looking at the actions of British forces in Iraq — which … led a British ICTY prosecutor nearly to fall off his chair.”

“Privately, Ocampo has said that he wishes to dispose of Iraq issues (ie. Not to investigate them.)”

The cables also attempt to cast off early remarks about Iraq by Ocampo – who is from Argentina – as a language issue.

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Dear ICC Observers Readers,

Please note that we are now located at the http://icc-observers.org domain name. You may still access the blog at the original https://iccobservers.wordpress.com as well. Thank you for your continued patience as we update the web site and make new content available to all those interested in the ongoing activities of the International Criminal Court.

Sincerely,

The ICC Observers Team

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Bloomberg Sarah McGregor and Eric Ombok – Dec 16, 2010

Kenya’s Parliament dismissed a motion to end the East African nation’s obligation to cooperate with the International Criminal Court, which is pursuing cases against six Kenyans for their alleged roles in post-election violence in 2008.

Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Farah Maalim said lawmaker Isaac Ruto didn’t follow proper procedure because he presented the motion for debate rather than a bill. Ruto urged parliament to repeal Kenya’s commitment as a signatory to the Rome Statutes that created the court. The proceedings were broadcast by Kenya Broadcasting Corp., the state-run television station.

The Hague-based court’s Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo yesterday requested that charges of crimes against humanity be filed against Deputy Prime Minister and Finance MinisterUhuru Kenyatta, and lawmaker William Ruto. Industrialization Minister Henry Kosgey, Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura, former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali and Joshua Arap Sang, a radio presenter, were also identified as suspects.

“A state shall not be discharged, by reason of its withdrawal, from the obligations arising from this statute while it was a party to the statute, including any financial obligation which may have accrued,” Prime Minister Raila Odinga told lawmakers. Ending cooperation also wouldn’t affect current cases, he said.

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See also VOA News

 

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New York Times, Dec 15 2010

AMU, Kenya — The prosecutor of the International Criminal Courtis seeking to indict several high-ranking Kenyan politicians, including the finance minister and a former national police chief, for crimes against humanity in what he calls an orchestrated campaign to displace, torture, persecute and kill civilians during Kenya’s election crisis in 2007 and early 2008.

These are the first serious charges sought against Kenya’s political elite for the violence, and are intended to address one of Africa’s glaring weak spots — disputed elections — which have led to turmoil in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Nigeria and, most recently, Ivory Coast.

“This is a different kind of case,” Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the court’s chief prosecutor, said of the accusations, which were announced Wednesday. “This isn’t about militias. It’s about politicians and political parties. It’s about investigating leadership.”

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See also

GlobalVoiceOnline

Financial Times

 

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Dec 15 2010 Available at http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/exeres/BA2041D8-3F30-4531-8850-431B5B2F4416.htm

Kenya’s post election violence: ICC Prosecutor presents cases against six individuals for crimes against humanity

ICC-OTP-20101215-PR615

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo today requested the International Criminal Court to issue summonses to appear against six Kenyan citizens to face justice for massive crimes committed during the post-election violence (PEV) in Kenya.

The Prosecutor has concluded there are reasonable grounds to believe crimes against humanity were committed, in the first Prosecution case, by:

1. William Samoei Ruto – currently: Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology (suspended), MP for Eldoret North and during the PEV, MP for Eldoret North. The Prosecution considers that he was one of the principal planners and organizers of crimes against PNU supporters;

2. Henry Kiprono Kosgey – currently: Minister of Industrialization, MP for Tinderet Constituency, ODM Chairman and during the PEV: MP for Tinderet. The Prosecution considers that he was one of the principal planners and organizers of crimes against PNU supporters; and

3. Joshua Arap Sang – currently Head of Operations, KASS FM and during the PEV: Radio broadcaster. The Prosecution considers that he was one of the principal planners and organizers of crimes against PNU supporters.

And in the second Prosecution case, by:

4. Francis Kirimi Muthaura – during the PEV and to date: Head of the Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet and Chairman of the National Security Advisory Committee. The Prosecution considers that he authorized the Police to use excessive force against ODM supporters and to facilitate attacks against ODM supporters.

5. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta – currently: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. The Prosecution considers that during the PEV he helped to mobilize the Mungiki criminal organization to attack ODM supporters; and

6. Mohamed Hussein Ali – currently: Chief Executive of the Postal Corporation of Kenya and during the PEV he was Commissioner of the Kenya Police. The Prosecution considers that during the PEV he authorized the use of excessive force against ODM supporters and facilitated attacks against ODM supporters.

“The post election period of 2007-2008 was one of the most violent periods of the nation’s history,” said the Prosecutor.

The post election attacks left more than 1, 100 people dead, 3,500 injured and up to 600, 000 forcibly displaced. During 60 days of violence, there were hundreds of rapes, possibly more, and over 100, 000 properties were destroyed in six of Kenya’s eight provinces.

“These were not just crimes against innocent Kenyans”, said Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo. “They were crimes against humanity as a whole. By breaking the cycle of impunity for massive crimes, victims and their families can have justice. And Kenyans can pave the way to peaceful elections in 2012.”

The judges of Pre-Trial Chamber II will now review the evidence. If they determine that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the six persons named committed the alleged crimes, they will decide on the most appropriate way to ensure their appearance in Court. The Prosecution has requested Summonses to Appear.

15.12.2010 – Prosecutor’s Application Pursuant to Article 58 as to William Samoei Ruto, Henry Kiprono Kosgey and Joshua Arap Sang

15.12.2010 – Prosecutor’s Application Pursuant to Article 58 as to Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Mohammed Hussein Ali


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

OTP Public Information Officers

Nicola Fletcher
nicola.fletcher@icc-cpi.int
+ 31(0)70 515 8071
+31 (0) 6 50890473 (mobile)

Florence Olara
Florence.olara@icc-cpi.int
+31(0)70 515 8723
+31(0)650294476(mobile)

OTPNewsDesk@icc-cpi.int


Annex

Summary of the Application

1. As early as December 2006, WILLIAM SAMOEI RUTO (“RUTO”) and HENRY KIPRONO KOSGEY (“KOSGEY”), prominent leaders of the Orange Democratic Movement (“ODM”) political party, began preparing a criminal plan to attack those identified as supporters of the Party of National Unity (“PNU”).[1]JOSHUA ARAP SANG (“SANG”), a prominent ODM supporter, was a crucial part of the plan, using his radio program to collect supporters and provide signals to members of the plan on when and where to attack. RUTO, KOSGEY and SANG coordinated a series of actors and institutions to establish a network, using it to implement an organizational policy to commit crimes. Their two goals were: (1) gain power in the Rift Valley Province, (“Rift Valley”) and in Kenya Central Government, (2) punish and expel from the Rift Valley those perceived to support PNU (collectively referred to as “PNU supporters”).

2. Kenyans voted in the presidential election on 27 December 2007. On 30 December 2007, the Electoral Commission of Kenya declared that Mwai Kibaki, presidential candidate for the PNU had won the election. The announcement triggered one of the most violent periods in Kenya’s history. The Prosecution will present some of the incidents, identifying those who are most responsible.

3. Thousands of members of the network (“perpetrators”) cultivated by RUTO, KOSGEY and SANG began to execute their plan by attacking PNU supporters immediately after the announcement of the presidential election results on 30 December 2007. On 30-31 December 2007, they began attacks in target locations including Turbo town, the greater Eldoret area (Huruma, Kimumu, Langas, and Yamumbi), Kapsabet town, and Nandi Hills town. They approached each location from all directions, burning down PNU supporters’ homes and businesses, killing civilians, and systematically driving them from their homes. On 1 January 2008, the church located on the Kiambaa farm cooperative was attacked and burned with more than hundred people inside. At least 17 people died. The brunt of the attacks continued into the first week of January 2008.

4. All identified attacks occurred in a uniform fashion. Perpetrators gathered at designated meeting points outside of locations selected for attack. There, they met Coordinators, who organized the perpetrators into groups with assigned tasks. Perpetrators then attacked target locations. Some perpetrators approached on foot, while others were driven or in trucks, previously arranged. SANG helped coordinate the attacks using coded language disseminated through radio broadcasts.

5. In response to RUTO, KOSGEY and SANG’s planned attacks on PNU supporters, as well as to deal with protests organized by the ODM, prominent PNU members and/or Government of Kenya officials Francis Kirimi MUTHAURA (“MUTHAURA”), Uhuru Muigai KENYATTA (“KENYATTA”), and Mohammed Hussein ALI (“ALI”) developed and executed a plan to attack perceived ODM supporters in order to keep the PNU in power.

6. First, under the authority of the National Security Advisory Committee, of which MUTHAURA and ALI were Chairman and a member, respectively, the Kenya Police in joint operations with the Administration Police (“Kenyan Police Forces”) were deployed into ODM strongholds where they used excessive force against civilian protesters in Kisumu (Kisumu District, Nyanza Province) and in Kibera (Kibera Division, Nairobi Province). As a consequence, between the end of December 2007 and the middle of January 2008, the Kenyan Police Forces indiscriminately shot at and killed more than a hundred ODM supporters in Kisumu and Kibera.

7. Second, MUTHAURA, KENYATTA and ALI also developed a different tactic to retaliate against the attacks on PNU supporters. On or about 3 January 2008, KENYATTA, as the focal point between the PNU and the criminal organization the Mungiki, facilitated a meeting with MUTHAURA, a senior Government of Kenya official, and Mungiki leaders to organize retaliatory attacks against civilian supporters of the ODM. Thereafter, MUTHAURA, in his capacity as Chairman of the National Security Advisory Committee (“NSAC”), telephoned ALI, his subordinate as head of the Kenya Police, and instructed ALI not to interfere with the movement of pro-PNU youth, including the Mungiki. KENYATTA additionally instructed the Mungiki leaders to attend a second meeting on the same day to finalize logistical and financial arrangements for the retaliatory attacks.

8. As a consequence, the Mungiki and pro-PNU youth attacked ODM civilian supporters in Nakuru (Nakuru District, Rift Valley Province) and Naivasha (Naivasha District, Rift Valley Province) during the last week of January 2008. During these attacks, the attackers identified ODM supporters by going from door to door and by setting up road blocks for intercepting vehicles, killing over 150 ODM supporters.

9. The violence resulted in more than 1,100 people dead, 3,500 injured, approximately 600,000 victims of forcible displacement, at least hundreds of victims of rape and sexual violence and more than 100,000 properties destroyed in six out of eight of Kenya’s provinces. Many women and girls perceived as supporting the ODM were raped.


[1] This is a coalition of parties including the Kenya African National Union (KANU), Ford-Kenya, Ford-People, Democratic Party and the National Alliance Party of Kenya.

Source: Office of the Prosecutor

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Tim Witcher (AFP) – Dec 12 2010

UNITED NATIONS — The International Criminal Court faces a new battle of wills this week with Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir even as its top prosecutor says the wanted leader is increasingly encircled.

Bashir, who faces ICC warrants for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, has been invited to a summit in Zambia on Wednesday and to attend a festival in Senegal later this month.

ICC statutes dictate that any member country should arrest him if he visits. Bashir is defiant, however, the African Union supports him, and this year he has been to Kenya and Chad, both signatory countries which refused to detain him.

“President Bashir will continue to travel, nobody will be able to restrict him,” Sudan’s UN ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman said.

Following ICC complaints and some international pressure, some diplomatic doors have closed, however.

An October summit of an East African group had to be moved from Kenya to Ethiopia, a non signatory, so that Bashir could go. Sudan boycotted an AU-European Union summit in November because of European threats to walk out and a visit to Central African Republic this month never went ahead.

South Africa and Uganda said they would arrest him if he went there.

“He is not under house arrest, he is under country arrest,” ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said as court signatory countries met at the United Nations.

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See Also Bashir’s canceled trip to Zambia, New York Times Dec 15 2010

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New York Times  NEIL MacFARQUHAR Dec 9 2010

Hundreds of civilians have been killed and thousands displaced in Darfur in the past six months as violence has continued there, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, told the United Nations Security Council on Thursday. The government of Sudan was neither cooperating with the court in pursuing the perpetrators nor taking action on its own, he said. President Omar Hassan al-Bashir had ordered the attacks against civilians, the prosecutor said. The court has charged Mr. Bashir with crimes against humanity and genocide, but he has not been arrested. Sudan’s United Nations ambassador, Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, accused the prosecutor of recycling unconfirmed allegations.

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VOA News

Reuters

 

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