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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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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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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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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


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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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ICC Prosecutor Begins Kenya Probe (Al Jazeera English, 05/08/10)

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at The Hague has arrived in the Kenyan capital to lead investigations into the country’s 2007-08 post-election violence.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo landed in Nairobi on Saturday for a five-day visit, during which he is expected to meet victims of the unrest as well as various segments of Kenyan society.

“As promised, I will meet the victims, listen to them, understand their views and concerns,” Moreno-Ocampo said in a statement on the ICC’s website.

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Appeals Chamber Judgment 3-2-2010

Al Bashir case: The Appeals Chamber directs Pre-Trial Chamber I to decide anew on the genocide charge

Case: The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir

Situation: Darfur, Sudan

Today, 3 February, 2010, the Appeals Chamber rendered its judgment on the Prosecutor’s appeal, reversing, by unanimous decision, Pre-Trial Chamber I’s decision of 4 March, 2009, to the extent that Pre-Trial Chamber I decided not to issue a warrant of arrest in respect of the charge of genocide. The Appeals Chamber directed the Pre-Trial Chamber to decide anew whether or not the arrest warrant should be extended to cover the charge of genocide.

Judge Kourula, presiding judge on this appeal, delivered a summary of the judgment. The Appeals Chamber explained that it was not concerned with the question of whether Mr Omar Al Bashir is, or is not, responsible for the crime of genocide. Rather, the Appeals Chamber addressed a question of procedural law, namely whether the Pre-Trial Chamber applied the correct standard of proof when disposing of the Prosecutor’s application for an arrest warrant.

In its 4 March, 2009, decision, Pre-Trial Chamber I rejected the Prosecutor’s application in respect of genocide stating that it would issue an arrest warrant for genocide only if the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the Prosecutor’s evidence, based on “proof by inference”, was that there were reasonable grounds to believe in the existence of genocidal intent. The Appeals Chamber found that demanding that the existence of genocidal intent must be the only reasonable conclusion amounts to requiring the Prosecutor to disprove any other reasonable conclusions and to eliminate any reasonable doubt. The Appeals Chamber found this standard of proof to be too demanding at the arrest warrant stage, which is governed by article 58 of the Rome Statute. This amounted to an error of law.

Although the Appeals Chamber reversed the Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision, the Appeals Chamber rejected the Prosecutor’s request to make a finding that there were reasonable grounds to believe that Omar Al Bashir acted with genocidal intent, as this is a matter to be determined in a new decision by the Pre-Trial Chamber, using the correct standard of proof.

Background information

Pre-Trial Chamber I issued, on 4 March, 2009, the “Decision on the Prosecution’s Application for a Warrant of Arrest against Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir”. In its decision, the Pre-Trial Chamber issued a warrant of arrest against Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir for crimes against humanity and war crimes, but rejected the Prosecutor’s application in respect of the crime of genocide.

On 6 July, 2009, the Prosecutor filed an appeal against this decision. The Appeals Chamber granted the Sudan Workers Trade Unions Federation and the Sudan International Defence Group leave to make submissions as amicus curiae. Eight victims were also authorised to present submissions to the Appeals Chamber.

The situation in Darfur was referred to the International Criminal Court by the United Nations Security Council’s resolution 1593, on 31 March, 2005. In this situation, three cases are being heard: The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Muhammad Harun (“Ahmad Harun”) and Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (“Ali Kushayb”)The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir; and The Prosecutor v. Bahar Idriss Abu Garda.

The International Criminal Court is the only permanent international court established with the mission to help put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and thus to contribute to the prevention of such crimes.

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CNN International Feb 3 2010

Judges at the International Criminal Court ruled Wednesday that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir may be charged with genocide for his role in a five-year campaign of violence in western Sudan’s Darfur region.

Al-Bashir, who remains in office, has already been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo had the genocide charge on his original arrest warrant for al-Bashir, but the pre-trial judges left off the charge when they approved the warrant last March.

Moreno-Ocampo appealed in July, saying that the judges’ standard for adding the genocide charge was too high. The appellate court agreed with Moreno-Ocampo and ruled in his favor Wednesday.

The appeals judges said the pre-trial chamber had applied an “erroneous standard of proof” to the genocide charge.

The judges said they were not ruling on whether al-Bashir should be charged with genocide — only whether the charge could be added to the arrest warrant. They said it will be up to the pre-trial chamber to determine whether to add the charge to the warrant, which could take several weeks.

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