ICC prosecutor reviews names of Kenya election violence suspects

[JURIST] The chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Thursday received and reviewed [press release] a sealed envelope listing the names of those believed to be responsible for the post-election violence in Kenya [JURIST report] in late 2007 and early 2008. ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] also received "six boxes of documents and supporting materials" compiled by the Commission of Inquiry on Post Election Violence (CIPEV), or Waki Commission. Moreno-Ocampo pledged to safeguard the contents of the envelope, so as not to jeopardize efforts to form a special tribunal [JURIST report] in Kenya to try perpetrators.


The content of the envelope will remain confidential, there will be no leaks[.] In accordance with the Rome Statute, my Office utilises all information received in our analysis work. The findings of the Waki Commission are important but they do not bind the Office; I should reach an impartial conclusion.

On Tuesday, Moreno-Ocampo received reports [press release] from Kenyan Attorney General Amos Wako [official profile] on his government's progress investigating the post-election violence. The Kenyan government agreed [press release] earlier this month to turn over information necessary for Moreno-Ocampo to conduct a preliminary investigation.

The sealed envelope was sent to the ICC [JURIST report] last week by former UN secretary-general and current chairman of the AU Panel of Eminent African Personalities Kofi Annan [official website; JURIST news archive]. Moreno-Ocampo said that the Kenyan government has the "the primary responsibility for investigating and prosecuting these crimes" and had "committed to referring the case to the ICC by June 2010" if it is unable to create an appropriate tribunal by September, as planned [JURIST report]. 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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