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Kenyatta asked to cooperate with ICC

09 April 2013, 15:39 Maria Macharia

Nairobi - Human rights groups here have asked president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) which wants to try them for alleged crimes against humanity, an official has said. 

Human Rights Watch Senior International Justice Counsel, Elizabeth Evenson, urged both Kenyatta and Ruto to ensure full cooperation with the ICC, saying that it is the only way to clear their names of any wrongdoing in relation to the bloody 2007 presidential election. 

Some 1 300 people were killed while 600 000 were left homeless in the bloodletting that followed the disputed poll.  “Kenyatta and Ruto should be held to their promises to attend their trials before the ICC. 

“As president of an ICC member country, Kenyatta should also ensure that his government provides the cooperation it owes the ICC and the support it needs. Victims of Kenya’s post-election violence and their families have already waited more than five years for justice,” Evenson said. 

She said Kenyatta and Ruto, along with Ruto’s co-accused, Joshua arap Sang, a former radio host, face trial at the ICC on charges of committing or contributing to the commission of crimes against humanity. 

However, Kenyatta and Ruto have voluntarily been attending ICC proceedings in their cases.  As a state party to the Rome Statute that established the court, Kenya is obligated to cooperate. 

In a victory speech following the March 4 presidential election, Kenyatta said his government would live up to its obligations to international institutions. 

Kenya has permitted the court to carry out some activities within Kenya.  But the ICC prosecutor has indicated that Kenya has stalled on requests for assistance in accessing some documents, and did not press for the appointment of judges to resolve a stalemate over whether senior police officials could be interviewed.

- CAJ News  


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