Annan submits names of Kenya election violence suspects to ICC prosecutor

[JURIST] Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official website; JURIST news archive] Thursday delivered the names [Guardian report] of those believed responsible for the post-election violence in Kenya [JURIST report] in late 2007 and early 2008 to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] in The Hague. Annan sent a sealed envelope [ICC news release] to ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] despite a June announcement that he would give Kenya until August [JURIST report] to form a tribunal to investigate the violence before handing over the names of suspects to the ICC. Last week, a Kenyan delegation had pledged [JURIST report] to formulate a prosecution plan by September. Because Kenya is party to the Rome Statute [text, PDF], Moreno-Ocampo may prosecute suspects believed to have committed crimes over which the ICC has jurisdiction.

In late December 2007, tens of thousands of protesters took to Kenya's streets accusing Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki [official profile] of election fraud after early opinion polls suggested rival Raila Odinga [official website] was in the lead. Kibaki ultimately won the election by a narrow margin. Two months later, in a move that could have eased the violence, Kibaki and Odinga agreed [JURIST report] to write a new constitution for Kenya. Earlier this year, however, Kenya's parliament rejected [press release; JURIST report] the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2009 [text, PDF], along with a Special Tribunal for Kenya Bill, 2009 [text, PDF] that would have set up a special domestic court to try persons believed to have committed post-election crimes. An estimated 1,500 people died as a result of the election violence.

 

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