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Top lawyer backs ICC stance on Uhuru/ Ruto

27 November 2013, 17:56

Nairobi - A prominent human rights lawyer welcomed the move by the State Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to reject Kenya’s request to grant immunity to sitting heads of states from prosecution.

Kenya was pushing for the court to halt such trials until the leaders competed their terms in office.

Lawyer George Omwoe claimed locals had pinned their hopes on the ICC for justice after years of violence perpetrated mostly by the state.

“Immunity of heads of states amounts to impunity. Kenya, for instance has endured 50 years of impunity where government of the day did nothing to bring justice for victims of the post- election violence. Most victims and the affected communities have supported the International Criminal Court

(ICC) because of the realization that the court is capable of dispensing justice even when the alleged perpetrators are the most powerful members of the society,” Omwoe said.

His sentiments come days after ICC ruled that President Uhuru Kenyatta would be expected to attend all the sessions at the beginning of his case.

The ruling would only be overturned if the current proposed amendments on the Rome Statute to allow sitting heads of states to pick individuals who would represent them during the sittings sail through.

Kenyatta’s trial at The Hague is scheduled for early next year.

The ICC has jointly charged him with his Deputy, William Ruto, for crimes against humanity arising from the violent 2007/08 poll.

More than 1 200 people are reported to have died in the post-election violence.

– CAJ News




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