October 7, 2014
When Kenya’s President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta shows up at The Hague he will become the first sitting head of state to appear before the International Criminal Court (ICC) as an accused person (Kenyatta attended his pretrial hearing at the ICC in September, 2011, but at that time he was still deputy prime minister).
Kenyatta has been called to The Hague for a status conference—a private meeting between the judges, the prosecution and the defense to consider the state of the case. In deciding to postpone the trial opening originally scheduled for October 7, and to schedule the status conference instead, Trial Chamber V(b) noted that the case had reached a “critical juncture.” This is also one of the reasons the chamber gave in its September 30 decision for insisting on Kenyatta’s presence, despite a defense request that he be excused from attending court.
The gravity of the moment is reflected in the central question that will be before the judges on Tuesday and Wednesday: should the chamber indefinitely adjourn the trial, as requested by the prosecution, or terminate it, as Kenyatta’s lawyers have asked?
Both the defense and prosecution agree on one thing: the prosecution’s evidence does not meet the “beyond reasonable doubt” threshold necessary to prove the allegations against Kenyatta. Each side, however, has different reasons for reaching this conclusion.
However, judges will not be deciding on whether the evidentiary threshold has been met by the prosecution when they hear submissions between October 7 and October 8. In different decisions Trial Chamber V(b) and its predecessor, Trial Chamber V, have emphasized that judges can only determine the strength or quality of any evidence once a trial has taken place.
Instead, the chamber will be seeking clarity on the progress of implementing its decision of July 29 this year, which ordered the Kenyan government to provide the prosecution with eight categories of records relating to Kenyatta or companies and third parties associated with him. That decision followed an earlier one made in March in which the chamber required the Kenyan government and prosecution to meet and negotiate how to make available those records and then report to the chamber every two months.
In the July 29 decision, the judges did not set any reporting conditions, so the status conference on Tuesday will be the first time since that decision that the chamber will be hearing jointly from both sides. The prosecution has said these records will determine whether the prosecution will persevere with the case or withdraw the charges against Kenyatta.
Before this latest phase of the Kenyatta case, his lawyers had applied three times to have the case terminated or have the proceedings permanently suspended. In March last year, Kenyatta’s defense team asked the chamber to terminate the case. The judges at the time held that terminating the case was not the appropriate remedy to the issues Kenyatta’s lawyers raised. At the time, Kenyatta’s lawyers said that the withdrawal of a key prosecution witness and the prosecution’s delayed disclosure of evidence were grounds for terminating the case. Trial Chamber V disagreed and instead gave Kenyatta’s lawyers more time to prepare their defense.
In January this year, Kenyatta’s lawyers renewed their request for the case against their client to be terminated; at that time they cited a prosecution statement to the court that the current evidence against Kenyatta did not meet the beyond reasonable doubt threshold required by the ICC. Trial Chamber V(b) declined to grant that request. The chamber pointed out that the prosecution had yet to receive records that were requested from the Kenyan government in April 2012; it concluded that this matter needed to be resolved first, before any decision on the request to terminate the case could be taken. In that decision made in March this year, the chamber left open the issue of whether to refer Kenya to the ICC membership for failure to cooperate with the court.
Kenyatta’s lawyers also applied to the chamber to permanently suspend the case or issue a permanent stay of proceedings in October, 2013. They argued then that a witness, Witness 118, and an intermediary for the prosecution had sought to influence a group of 10 prosecution witnesses to make up evidence against Kenyatta. In that application, they also argued that another prosecution witness, Witness 12, had solicited money to change his evidence in favor of Kenyatta. The judges concluded that issuing a permanent stay of proceedings was an extreme measure to be taken to protect the rights of an accused person to a fair trial. The chamber said that was not the situation in the Kenyatta case.
The judges also concluded that a lot of what the defense said about prosecution witnesses could only be tested in a trial process. They gave an example of audio recordings Witness 12 made on the prosecution’s instruction. The judges noted that the defense and prosecution interpreted differently the translation of those recordings, and those interpretations, the judges said, could only be best tested in a trial.
Kenyatta’s trial has been postponed five times now. His lawyers have sought to halt the proceedings at least three times. These factors cumulatively raise the question of an accused person’s right to a fair and expeditious trial, as provided for in the ICC’s fundamental law, the Rome Statute. These considerations will also be on the minds of the judges of Trial Chamber V(b) once they rise at the end of the second status conference next week to go and reach a decision on whether to adjourn or terminate the trial.
The victims of the bloodshed that followed the December 2007 presidential election who are yet to receive justice will also surely be taken into consideration. This is the reason why the Kenyan cases are before the ICC in the first place.
As the chamber said, the case has reached a “critical juncture.”
October 7, 2014
Unfinished Business: What it means to be poor in the land of Presidents, is a film made by a team of civil rights activists working in Central Kenya, homeland of three of Kenya’s four presidents. What have these presidents given or taken away from the Kikuyu community? InformAction’s SK Wandimi and cameraman.
MARTIN NGATIA SAYS KENYATTA WAS A LAND GRABBER AND MURDERER
October 7, 2014
By accepting to appear at the International Criminal Court, suspect Uhuru Kenyatta has demonstrated that the endless anti-ICC rhetoric (by himself and sycophants alike) since he was indicted by the court has been hot air. After mobilizing African dictators under the auspices of the AU to sign a declaration “barring sitting African heads of State” from attending ICC sessions, AU must have been humbled as Uhuru heads to The Hague to parade himself before the very imperialist powers both Uhuru and AU have been vilifying consistently.
The decision by Uhuru to appear before the ICC must have been informed by two factors. If he failed to appear before the Court, ICC could have issued an arrest warrant for Uhuru, an action that could have exacerbated Uhuru’s situation because it could have prevented him from travelling anywhere.
Another reason that might have motivated Uhuru to obey ICC is because he is hoping that he will not be detained by the Court. So far, there are at least 20 reasons that ICC could exploit to detain Uhuru at the ICC. These are valid reasons and as Uhuru leaves for the Hague, his supporters should keep their fingers crossed because they may have seen the last of President Uhuru Kenyatta in case ICC decides to flex its muscles. What are the 20 reasons why Uhuru can be detained at The Hague? He has:
1. Threatened witnesses not to testify
2. Intimidated Witnesses to withdraw from case
3. Bought out witnesses to pull out of the case
4. Killed witnesses or made them to disappear
5. Denied ICC his personal financial records
6. Denied ICC key evidence in government’s custody
7. Abused ICC and Western Powers using the strongest terms possible
8. Allowed sycophants to abuse ICC at every opportunity
9. Undermined ICC in public speeches
10. Influenced the Kenyan government not to cooperate with ICC
11. Intimidated the Kenyan Media to tell lies about ICC
12. Mobilized AU to take an anti-ICC position which favored him
13. Mobilized Kenyan Parliament to pass a vote removing Kenya from ICC
14. Maintained consistent arrogance against ICC
15. Used Kenyan AG as personal Lawyer at ICC
16. Intimidated witnesses to recant evidence
17. Used government machinery to fight his ICC case
18. Views ICC as a suppressive tool of Western Imperialism
19. Mobilized African dictators against ICC
20. Constantly seeking to portray ICC as incompetent, illegal and unjust
Just as I said here at KSB, the Africa Union cover of Uhuru Kenyatta through a resolution barring him from appearing before the Court was naïve because AU has no influence over ICC. The sycophantic MPs accompanying Uhuru to The Hague are not only wasting time. They are provoking ICC. These MPs seem to believe that the more they mobilize, the more they will influence ICC to leave Uhuru alone. If ICC feels provoked, the MPs may have to return to Kenya without Uhuru Kenyatta. The best the MPs could have done is to avoid unnecessary theatrics of singing the National anthem outside ICC and remain in Kenya to serve their electorates. For now, Kenyans and the world are in for a wait and see.
October 3, 2014
This is to inform Mr. Okulo Masala to get in touch with home as soon as possible. A relative has called KSB to say that your mother has passed on but the family has been unable to get in touch with you. KSB has a number you can call so act asap. Regards.
September 19, 2014
The Mark Gaya family would like to thank all Kenyans, friends, well-wishers and sympathizers who supported the family morally, economically and in any other way after Susan, Gaya’s wife, lost her dear brother in Kenya. Susan is currently in Kenya to attend her brother’s funeral.
Speaking to KSB, Mr. Gaya thanked the “Susan Support Committee” that was headed by Mr. Jared Odero for the great job the Committee rendered in support of the family during a difficult moment marked with great shock and sorrow. Gaya also thanked all those who congregated at the family residence in Märsta immediately and after the sad news was broken to be with them plus all the good people who attended a Prayer/Fund raising meeting that was held on Saturday, 6th September as part of funeral arrangements in Stockholm. Further, Gaya thanked all friends who volunteered to sit in the Committee in support of his family.
According to Jared Odero, Committee Chairman, a total of 11.000kr was realized after all deductions of bank-rolling and other overhead expenses. Mr. Odero thanked everybody who attended the event and all those who helped in realizing the funds at very short notice. According to Mark Gaya, Susan’s brother will be buried tomorrow, Saturday, 20th September 2014 in his home village in Siaya county.
September 17, 2014
This Saturday: Dekula Band”Ngoma Ya Kilo”
Place: Lilla Wien “Little Nairobi”
Addr: Swedenborgsg: 20
Pendel: Södra station
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