Uhuru and Ruto ICC Cases: Who Foots Their Bills?

Sang dismantles Jubilee lies and leaves uhuru and ruto licking their wounds

Who foots the ICC bills?

When Deputy President William Ruto arrived at Schipol Airport on May 13, 2013 to attend a status conference at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague the next day, he was received by Kenyan Ambassador to the Netherlands, Rose Makena Muchiri. Was he there in his official capacity to warrant being received by the Ambassador? Therefore, the Six Million Dollar question is: Who paid for his trip? Further, who is paying his ICC legal fees now that he is deputy president? Who paid his wife’s expenses during the trip?

The so-called Ocampo Three (President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ruto and reporter Joshua arap Sang) are accused of serious crimes against humanity linked to the post-election violence (PEV) in their private capacities. It is therefore against the spirit of the country’s Constitution to be accorded official treatment using taxpayers’ money. Joshua Sang was also at the status conference; who paid for his trip? At the beginning of the ICC cases, he went public that he could not afford to pay for his air ticket and legal fees.

It was disgusting to see Ambassador Muchiri parade her embassy staff to greet Ruto when he arrived at the ICC on May 14th as if he was on a diplomatic mission. Worse still, he arrived and left the Court in a motorcade of around six Mercedes Benz limousines accompanied by at least three Dutch police outriders, who cleared the road ahead for his smooth ride. This is the paradox of international law which guarantees heads of states and senior government officials immunities and privileges abroad, despite serious criminal charges. Ruto was accused long before and should therefore not mix the ICC case with his current official status. It riles to hear Kenyans being mentioned collectively during the Court proceedings, as if they are also on trial. Ruto does not represent them at the ICC because the charges are his private matter.

In what is clearly another round of ICC shuttle diplomacy, (a la the failed one by Kalonzo Musyoka in 2011), Ruto arrived from The Hague and soon after, visited some countries in Central and West Africa, in what was dubbed “representing President Uhuru” to strengthen ties in the spirit of Pan-Africanism. But insiders claim the purpose was to rally African Union member states to support them (Uhuruto) in dropping the ICC cases. Ambassador Macharia Kamau’s recent letter to the UN Security Council seeking to terminate the ICC process is a pointer, even if Uhuru and Ruto disowned it.

A section of the Kenyan media reported that Ruto’s African trip could cost taxpayers a whopping Ksh100 million a year, because his office has hired a state-of-the art Bombardier aircraft at a quarterly payment of Ksh25.4 million. It means there will be more of such visits in the future. The government has since denied the reports, saying it was a one-off payment of Ksh18.5 million only. To do damage control, invoices were issued to media houses from Ruto’s office, yet a thorough scrutiny by journalists detected discrepancies in their entries, compared to the documents which they have from VistaJet, where the plane was hired, and signed by Ruto’s officers.

Majority of Kenyans are “sufferers” and if lucky, earn a Dollar a day. Uhuru’s call to curb wastage of public resources will amount to mere rhetoric as long as old habits are perpetuated by his officers. The President has inherited a broke Government with a debt of Ksh1.8 trillion. He has so far impressed by insisting the public wage bill is too high and must be checked, amidst cries for a pay rise by the greedy MPigs. Kenyans need transparency in Government dealings, especially concerning the ICC proceedings.

Jared Odero

43 comments

  • impunity continues
  • impunity continues
  • defend democracy.

    If you look the picture above of Uhuru /ruto and Sang the picture speakes for itsself all looks criminals ,mass muderers ,rapists who should be jailed and made to compensate their victims , This man Ruto gassed many innocent Kikuyu children in Eldoret church! Uhuru Kenyatta sponsored Mungiki his boys to murder And Circumcise Luo men with matchets everything is well documented in U-tubes and by mostly world medias has these Videos CNN /Aljazeela,BBC etc. The short dwarf (Sang) is a known Kasuku who preached and incited Kalenjins to wipe-out all Kikuyu and drive them by force from the Rift Valley!Aomething must be done to set an example to these Primitive uncivilized mad dictators of Africa.Do not forget the President of the USA Mr Barack Obama has Avoided kenya like a Pest hence USA president cannot afford to be photographed with Animals that skins their kinds (Natives)in this age!

  • Ruto misusing gava money

    RUTO BEEFS UP ICC LEGAL TEAM
    Tuesday, May 21, 2013 – 00:00 — BY OLIVER MATHENGE

    DEPUTY President William Ruto has beefed up his defence team at the International Criminal Court ahead of his trial which is now likely to start in November

    Shyamala Alagendra, a Malaysian who once worked for the the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICC, and her sister Venkateswari Alagendra have joined Ruto as associate counsels.

    Last week, the court’s registry informed the trial judges that the two were joining the team shortly after Karim Khan took over as lead counsel. Ruto’s team is now made up of Khan, Shyamala, Venkateswari, David Hooper and Kioko Kilukumi.

    Khan and Shyamala worked together as the defence team representing former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura who was co-accused with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s.

    ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda withdrew the case again Muthaura in March this year after Witness No 4 recanted his testimony.

    Venkateswari worked for the Muthaura team but outside the court. Ruto is charged with three counts of crimes against humanity – murder, forcible transfer of population and persecution.

    The Deputy President’s trial was supposed to kick off at the end of May but the court decided to consider a new date after Ruto asked for it to be postponed to November.

    Ruto has also requested that he can skip some court sessions and attend others by video link so that he has time to conduct his state duties.

    Last year, the team of Khan, Shyamala and Venkateswari secured the acquittal on all counts of war crimes of former Transport minister Fatmir Limaj at the war crimes court in Kosovo.

    The prosecution claimed that Limaj was the commander of a detention facility where Serb soldiers were executed and other civilians tortured during the 1998-1999 armed conflict between the Kosovo Liberation Army and Serbia.

    In 2011, Shyamala left the ICC and joined Muthaura’s defence team just weeks after Essa Faal, a Gambian national, also resigned.

    Before joining Muthaura, Shyamala was an ICC prosecutor for the Darfur cases including the one against Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir.

    She had also prosecuted Charles Taylor who was convicted of war crimes by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone on April 26, 2012 .

    The ICC have charged Uhuru, Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua Sang for their role in the 2008 post-election violence where than 1,300 people died, and nearly 600,000 were displaced.

  • Uhuru-Ruto named by TJRC

    Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto among 400 named in Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission report
    Updated Wednesday, May 22nd 2013 at 08:04 GMT +3

    By FELIX OLICK

    Kenya: Senior Government officials and politicians are among hundreds of Kenyans recommended for prosecution in the explosive report of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) released yesterday.

    President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto are among those adversely mentioned over the 2007 post- election violence for which they face trial at the International Criminal Court. No action is recommended against them.

    The report also names a senator and scores of MPs from across the country accused of involvement in land grabbing, fanning ethnic clashes and brutal crackdown by security forces at the height of repression.

    TJRC recommends that the Director of Public Prosecutions investigate the adversely mentioned individuals, against whom the report finds there is “ample evidence capable of sustaining prosecution.”

    It also names dozens of former MPs, former provincial commissioners and senior military and police officers implicated in all sorts of violations including land grabbing and torture.

    Also listed includes a host of serving senior police officers, including retired police chiefs and intelligence officers who are implicated in the torture of detainees and political assassinations.

    Others named are prominent personalities and militia leaders involved in 2007 post election violence in Rift Valley and activities of the Sabaot Land Defence Forces in Mt Elgon.

    The report names high-ranking government officials, including an MP in a top leadership position in the National Assembly who once served as a former Cabinet Minister for illegal excision of forest land.

    Others are accused of killings in politically instigated clashes, sexual violence, ethnic mobilisation and harassment of women and children. The TJRC report spotlights human rights violations cutting across three successive regimes.

    Tuesday, President Kenyatta said the government would take the recommendations of the report seriously and reiterated his administration is committed to deepening healing and reconciliation in the country.

    In a similar fashion to the Waki Commission, the Truth team details persons that should be investigated over irregular acquisition of land, massacres, political assassinations and ethnic violence including the gory 2007 post-election violence.

    Ironically, the report recommends that TJRC chairman Bethuel Kiplagat should be investigated over the bloody 1984 Wagalla massacre and should not hold any public office.

    “The Commission ?nds that between 2002 and 2008, President Mwai Kibaki presided over a government that was responsible for numerous gross violations of human rights,” the report reads in part

    œThese violations include: unlawful detentions, torture and ill-treatment; assassinations and extra judicial killings; and economic crimes and grand corruption”

    The TJRC asks President Kenyatta to within the next three months issue a public apology to the families of those assassinated and the nation for the failure by previous regimes to resolve the murders. The report details far-reaching recommendations including seizure of illegally acquired land to address the thorny land problem at the Coast.

    “While government officials benefited from illegal acquisition and allocation of government land to themselves and their close associates, coastal communities that were in dire need of re-settlement were excluded,” said the report

    On extra judicial killings, the report recommends reparations for families of victims in accordance with the Commission’s Reparation Framework. It recommends the prosecution of police officers and other state agents who were involved in the torture and ill treatment of individuals during the mandate period.

  • corruption continues

    Official word not backed by invoice

    The Daily Nation today publishes a copy of a US$300,000 (Sh25.14 million) invoice for the leasing of a luxury jet which was submitted by Swiss firm VistaJet to Deputy President William Ruto’s office.

    The invoice, dated May 15, 2013, contradicts claims by Mr Ruto’s office that the cost of hiring the jet was $221,000 (Sh18.5 million) rather than the amount quoted in the Sunday Nation story.

    The document, which now forms the basis of the first investigation launched by the Public Accounts Committee, was obtained from impeccable sources and indicates that Kenyans may pay more than the reported Sh25.14 million.

    The invoice from VistaJet offices in Salzburg, Austria, indicates that the payment is a “first instalment of the quarterly payment” for the jet leasing services as part of a “VistaJet Program Partnership Agreement” with the government.

    The Deputy President’s office has launched a furious rear-guard action to contain the damage following the publication of the details of the deal which has triggered anger from civil society and the public. Mr Ruto has also threatened to sue the Nation over the story.

    In Parliament on Wednesday, House Majority Leader Aden Duale tabled a letter from a firm known as E-ADC Limited stating that the “official invoice” sent to the Office of the Deputy President was for $221,000.

    However, the letter was written one day after the first Nation report and distributed to newsrooms by a Mr Ahmed Kassam, an aviation expert. The letter does not bear an attachment showing the “official invoice” from VistaJet.

    The bill obtained by the Nation was addressed to Mr Evans Nyachio, a senior procurement officer in the Deputy President’s office.

    Although Parliament was told the Nation did not contact the Deputy President’s office before publication of the story, that statement is untrue.

    Mr Nyachio was called on Saturday and challenged to confirm or deny that the invoice had been received.

    He did neither and instead said the matter was “sensitive” and demanded that reporters see him on Monday, May 20.

    Various government officials have also made false statements while seeking to justify the expense footed by taxpayers for the four-nation trip to Gabon, Nigeria, Ghana and Congo.

    In an interview with NTV, Information permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo claimed that flying by commercial flights would have required the group to fly to France and connect back to West and Central Africa.

    In fact, Kenya Airways operates direct flights to Lagos, Accra and to the capital of Congo, Brazzaville. There are no direct flights to Libreville but connections exist in West Africa.

    Dr Ndemo also said that hiring a jet was the most cost-effective way the trip could have been made: “If you carry nine senior government officials on business class going to Europe and coming back you will find that the cost would have been much higher,” he said.

    In fact, information available on the Internet indicates that first class fare from Nairobi to Lagos is $3,345 (Sh280,980).

    Assuming that all 16 passengers on Mr Ruto’s trip had travelled first class — an unlikely event considering not all on board were senior officials — the trip to Lagos would have cost $53,520 (Sh4.5 million excluding connection flight charges).

    Dr Ndemo also told his interviewer there was “no contract” between VistaJet and the government and that the deal was “a one-off”.

    That statement is contradicted by documents obtained by the Nation which indicate that the money was a “first instalment” of a “quarterly payment”, the basis for the Sh100 million figure assuming that the Sh25 million fee was to be paid every three months.

    Sources within the Public Accounts Committee indicated that the investigation would focus on three aspects.

    They will be investigating the procurement process leading up to the award of the contract to VistaJet and whether procedures were flouted in offering the deal.

    They will also interrogate whether all those who travelled have been employed by the government and have obtained a PIN number which allows them to travel at taxpayer’s expense.

    A third strand, the source said, would look at the question of hiring procedures at the office of the Deputy President amid murmurs about the process of recruitment under way since the Jubilee government came to office.
    http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Official-word-not-backed-by-invoice/-/1056/1860148/-/1069p9c/-/index.html

  • British soldier beheaded in London

    British soldier beheaded in Woolwich, South London: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=d0f_1369235265

  • poor kenyan woman
  • RutoGate HustlerJet
  • RutoGate HustlerJet
  • Museveni bure sana
  • kenya after elections

    Kenya After the Elections

    In 2007, ethnic and political tensions led to one of the most turbulent election cycles in Kenya’s history. While international mediation helped curb violence and assisted in the creation of a power sharing government, the 2013 presidential election had many observers concerned that history may repeat itself.

    Following the peaceful but contested election of Uhuru Kenyatta in March presidential polls, Kenya still faces a number of long term peacebuilding challenges, including election and judicial reform, the resettlement of displaced persons stemming from the violence in 2007 and its relationship with the International Criminal Court, international community and the United States.

    The Foreign Policy Association hosted a special screening of a news report on Kenya’s progress since its 2007 elections, presented and produced by Kira Kay and Jason Maloney of the Bureau for International Reporting and broadcast nationally on PBS NewsHour. The screening was followed by a discussion of the way forward with Kenya experts Jacqueline Klopp and Abdullahi Boru.

    BIR Special Report on Kenya

    http://www.fpa.org/events/index.cfm?act=show_event&event_id=509

  • If Uhuru and Ruto were really innocent they wouldn’t be putting all this effort into getting the case dropped. To me they thought once they were elected the case would be dropped. It was a gamble that they lost. While our president and his VP are trying to get out of jail, MPigs, Senators, etc are looting our country! What leadership and we wonder why Kenya is becoming a banana republic.

  • UHURU AND RUTO are facing the ICC as private entities i see no connection as to why they should start using state resources to defend themselves. is it by default or design that macharia kamau is pushing for the termination of the case. how do you terminate the case before being proved innocent or guilty. for our president and deputy to be seen strong or innocent, they have to face ICC to the dot.

  • AG lying about ICC
  • uhuruto are spending massive state resources on personal goal to fend off icc at expense of poor kenyans.look at all efforts since elected..travelling in afric and around the world ,hiring lawyers …all this are peronal misfortune but they use kenyan taxpayers money.while busy with their case,jubilee brigade are looting the economy and merry making in clubs.
    who is going to speak for kenya gain.we dont have free press anymore,judiciary is highly compromised by jubilee crooks inthere gladys sholei and abdi nassir.
    cord was denied mandate.civil society is the only voice.uk,european union,merica if you are fooled by jubilee double speak and allies kenya will stand to suffer.we are dealing with rogue people in govt.

  • Stephene Maiba

    Wakenya sufferers most especially The brain-washed Wakikuyu whose rotten brain cannot diff btw a robber and a thug! Kikuyu voted Uhuru thinking they have voted another Kenyatta who will kill,maim .rape oppress, and detain them! Uhuru Promised Kikuyu youth Jobs ,Bank loan and helping them in starting business.Kikuyu women were promised free maternity care, Kikuyu men were also promised free Viagras so that they can breed many totos hence Majority rules and the Tyranny of numbers must be retained and used hence the number will guarantee kikuyu presidecy all the time kenyans goes for fake elections every five years.

  • Ruto took himself to Hague
  • Uhuru bure sana

    What If Uhuru, Ruto Win?
    Monday, February 6, 2012 – 00:00 — BY JERRY OKUNGU

    Judging by the mammoth rallies witnessed in Eldoret and Kiambu this week with respective youths on top of vehicles shouting their voices horse, it is evident that William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta command respectable followings in their regions. What is yet to be seen is whether these massive crowds will suddenly forget the bitter memories of the aftermath of the 2007 elections and vote these two gentlemen in to the highest office.

    As we wait for more drama to unfold, let’s us see how other rallies in Kisumu, Machakos, Nyeri, Embu, Nakuru, Kakamega, Nairobi and Garissa turn out.

    Indeed these two gentlemen are not alone. They have close to 50 MPs, some of them Cabinet ministers in tow. To cap it all, they have bagged the unswerving sympathies of the Vice President of the Republic of Kenya; a man who has hinted that he is ready to forgo his quest for the presidency to either Uhuru or Ruto should the need arise.

    The man spoiling the party for this grouping is the chairman of PNU, Prof George Saitoti, a man who has chosen to have nothing to do with the PNU Alliance or any other party. He is vying for the presidency on PNU ticket period. Uhuru Kenyatta though sounds like he is deeply rooted in PNU Alliance; he is yet to get a clear nod from his party KANU; the party that has time and time again sworn to seek the presidency on its own.

    Kalonzo Musyoka of the Wiper Democratic Party is not home and dry either. His general secretary is questioning where he read his law degree to keep the company of two Kenyans who though still innocent in the eyes of the law, have a case to answer at The Hague in the near future.

    One thing tis clear, the crowds at the prayer meetings certainly do not belong to Ali Makwere, Eugene Wamalwa, Kalonzo Musyoka or even Njeru Githae the new acting finance minister. They belong to Uhuru and Ruto alone. Remove the two from the equation; it will be difficult even to have their allies gathering a quarter of that crowd. They just don’t have the balls, wherewithal or the charisma to do it.

    Assuming the Ocampo duo keep the momentum, are cleared by the IEBC to contest the presidency on a joint ticket and win, what will Kenya be on the morning after the elections? There are a series of hypothetical chain of events that will most likely take place.

    Firstly, the nation and the rest of the world will be stunned because their trial for crimes against humanity will probably be in progress unless their appeal against confirmation hearings succeed. Their elections will remind the world of populist Adolf Hitler of Germany in the early 1930s when he won the German elections in a landslide.

    Secondly, the second phase of the KANU regime will be back in full force with dire consequences for those individuals that had spent their lifetime fighting the Jogoo party. It will be back to business as usual with attendant higher level of helpings from the state, impunity, land gifts and offloading public corporations of excess cash and property not to mention relieving the Central Bank of excess liquidity.

    As the new leaders embark on the job of running Kenya, there will be several amendments to the constitution that will return most of the executive powers to the Presidency. Having won the elections in a landslide, they will easily galvanize the 65% majority in Parliament to amend any part of the constitution that may give them unnecessary irritation.

    To reward their supporters country-wide, the first clause that will be deleted from the constitution will be the requirement to recruit Cabinet secretaries from outside Parliament. To accommodate all supporters from different parts of the country, the Cabinet will be as large as possible, may be 48 ministers to give at least six ministerial portfolios to each province with Central and Rift Valley taking the lion’s share.

    To make life easy for the new regime, Parliament will have to dissolve several commissions to save the much needed tax payers funds. Lined up for scrapping will be the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution, Kenya National Human Rights and Gender Equity Commission and of course the Ombudsman’s office.

    As Parliament will be busy fine tuning the new constitution to meet the challenges of 2012 and beyond, there will be a few activities on the national and global front. The Republicans in Mombasa will be upping their game in a bid to say good bye to Kenyan Republic. Down in the Lake Region, some Luos and possibly Luhyas will be weighing their options of being the youngest members of the UN and the AU.

    Meanwhile the European Union will have issued travel advisories warning their nationals against visiting or dealing with the new regime. Reason? Because the President and his deputy would be required to answer charges of crimes against humanity at The Hague. Along with these advisories, the US and Britain will be pushing for full sanctions against the Nairobi regime since by that time the two leaders will have been advised by Omar El Bashir to stop going to the Hague for those useless trials that only target Africans.

    Meanwhile, Jeremiah Kioni , the Ndaragwa MP will be putting the final touches on the bill to disband the Senate, County Governments and if possible the Gender Equity clause that requires special seats reserved for women. He will in this crusade strive to save the tax payers money and make politics more competitive and democratic than ever before.

    However, since either Ruto or Uhuru will be the Vice President, Kalonzo Musyoka will take the portfolio of the Ministry of Shuttle Diplomacy to deal with problems that the Civil Society will give the new regime. This will be done as Uhuru and Ruto also reclaim their God given ministries of Finance and Agriculture. In this scenario, Raila Odinga will be asked to retire from politics for good in the interest of peace, progress, reconciliation and national development.

  • Botswana says no to Uhuruto
  • Building the Nation

    Building The Nation

    By Henry Barlow

    Today I did my share
    In building the nation.
    I drove a Permanent Secretary
    To an important urgent function
    In fact to a lunch at the Vic.

    The menu reflected its importance
    Cold bell beer with small talk,
    Then fried chicken with niceties
    Wine to fill the hollowness of the laughs
    Ice-cream to cover the stereotype jokes
    Coffee to keep the PS awake on return journey.

    I drove the Permanent Secretary back.
    He yawned many times in back of the car
    Then to keep awake, he suddenly asked,
    Did you have any lunch friend?
    I replied looking straight ahead
    And secretly smiling at his belated concern
    That I had not, but was slimming!

    Upon which he said with seriousness
    That amused more than annoyed me,
    Mwanainchi, I too had none!
    I attended to matters of state.
    Highly delicate diplomatic duties you know,
    And friend, it goes against my grain,
    Causes me stomach ulcers and wind.
    Ah, he continued, yawning again,
    The pains we suffer in building the nation!

    So the PS had ulcers too!
    My ulcers I think are equally painful
    Only they are caused by hunger,
    Not sumptuous lunches!

    So two nation builders
    Arrived home this evening
    With terrible stomach pains
    The result of building the nation –
    – Different ways.

  • Choices have consequences

    The early consequences of choosing Uhuru, Ruto

    By OTIENO OTIENO
    Posted Saturday, June 1 2013

    Former US assistant secretary of state for Africa Johnnie Carson has recently become the butt of jokes among the fans of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto for his “choices have consequences” remark, suggesting Kenya risked international isolation if the ICC suspects were elected to high office.

    As it turns out, the major world powers, including the US, appear keen to maintain business-as-usual diplomatic relations with Kenya.

    And each time Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto have made the most of this, flying out of the country in turns ever so often or presiding at much-publicised diplomatic events, their followers have gleefully responded with that “choices have consequences” remark!

    Yet on the domestic front Mr Carson’s warning is proving very much a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    Kenyan taxpayers will have to underwrite the cost of the anti-ICC diplomatic posturing, including bills for luxury jets, British PR consultants and Washington lobbyists – which is no better way of wasting money than throwing it at MPs.

    For a people long used to their leaders picking their pockets, that might pass as relatively normal.

    A more worrying consequence is the sense of hopelessness among Kenyans amid a growing culture of impunity in public life.

    The public indifference to the report of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) released last week suggests few believe it will amount to anything.

    Of course, they are right; expecting the Uhuru administration to implement the recommendations of the TJRC report is like asking it to commit political suicide.

    Reinforcing accounts

    The report links the President and the Deputy President with the 2007/2008 post-election violence, reinforcing the accounts of the Waki Commission, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and the ICC prosecutor.

    The report also names the usual suspects implicated in land grabbing, ethnically instigated violence, and other historical injustices by past public inquiries like the Ndung’u Commission and the Akiwumi Commission.

    The fate of the TJRC report must also be seen against the light of the emerging assault on institutions set up by the Constitution to fight impunity like the National Land Commission and the National Police Service Commission.

    Officials of the National Land Commission last week lamented the Treasury’s decision to give them only five per cent of their budget.

    This, together with petty wars with Land ministry officials over office space, are clearly meant to frustrate the work of an institution handed the difficult task of breaking Kenya’s age-old curse.

    Meanwhile, proposed amendments to the National Police Service Act 2011 are set to return the law enforcement agency to a rogue force not accountable to the public.

    Otieno Otieno is chief sub-editor, Business Daily.

  • • Mr Ruto must be physically present in the courtroom for the following hearings:

    i. the entirety of the opening statements of all parties and participants,

    ii. the entirety of the closing statements of all parties and participants,

    iii. when victims present their views and concerns in person,

    iv. the entirety of the delivery of judgment in the case,

    V. the entirety of the sentencing hearings (if applicable),

    vi. the entirety of the sentencing (if applicable),

    vii. the entirety of the victim impact hearings (if applicable),

    viii. the entirety of the reparation hearings (if applicable), and

    ix. any other attendance directed by the Chamber;

    • The Chamber rules that Ruto’s position as Deputy President does not grant him immunity from standing trial at The Hague.

    • Judge Olga Herrera Carbuccia appends a dissenting opinion.

    • Mr Ruto’s trial is set to open on September 10.

  • crimes eluding justice

    ——————————————————————————–

    May 29, 2013

    When Grave Crimes Elude Justice

    By JAMES A. GOLDSTON

    An intense drama has been unfolding in Guatemala over the trial of the country’s former military ruler, Efraín Ríos Montt. On May 10, after a six-week trial marked by many twists and turns, Ríos Montt was convicted of genocide and sentenced to 80 years in jail. Ten days later, the country’s Constitutional Court, in a questionable 3-2 decision, overturned the verdict, and left an uncertain future for what had briefly seemed an exceptional achievement.

    This judicial roller-coaster ride has been bitterly disappointing to those Guatemalans who have worked for years to hold Ríos Montt accountable for overseeing, during his 17 months in power in the early 1980s, some of the worst crimes of a conflict that left tens of thousands dead or missing. But the eventual outcome will have implications far beyond Guatemala’s borders.

    For the world at large, this first-ever domestic genocide trial of a former head of state is a high profile test of whether national courts and governments, not just international tribunals, can fulfill their responsibility to pursue justice for grave crimes. This is no minor question, at a time when the international justice movement as a whole is struggling, most evidently in the travails of its most ambitious project, the International Criminal Court.

    Since it was set up just over a decade ago, the I.C.C. has convicted only one defendant, a former Congolese warlord, Thomas Lubanga, who was found guilty in March last year of using child soldiers. Last December, the court acquitted another Congolese military leader, Matthieu Ngudjolo, after failing to credit a number of prosecution witnesses. Earlier this year, after a witness recanted testimony that made it impossible to sustain a case, the I.C.C. prosecutor withdrew charges against one of four senior Kenyan officials charged with orchestrating post-election violence in 2007-08.

    This April, an I.C.C. judge chastised the prosecutor’s failure to investigate properly prior to confirming charges against Uhuru Kenyatta, now president of Kenya, and underscored “grave problems in the prosecution’s system of evidence review, as well as a serious lack of proper oversight by senior prosecution staff.”

    Other international tribunals are also in difficulty. At the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, convictions of its two most senior Croatian defendants were overturned in mid-November 2012. Two weeks later, the court acquitted for the second time Ramush Haradinaj, Kosovo’s former prime minister, in a case some prosecutors warned should never have been brought. However legally well-founded, and notwithstanding the positive record of the tribunal overall, these rulings have unfortunately reinforced a widespread (and false) misimpression about alleged anti-Serb bias in the court and complicated its contribution to reconciliation throughout the former Yugoslavia.

    Half a world away, in Cambodia, this March, the death of former Khmer Rouge leader Ieng Sary, left a U.N.-backed tribunal that has convicted just one person in seven years with only two remaining defendants. Donor fatigue and Cambodian government opposition will likely prevent any further trials of crimes by a regime that brought about more than 1.5 million deaths in the 1970s.

    In April, in an apparent act of intimidation, hackers published on a Lebanese news Web site the names of previously secret witnesses in the trial by a U.N.-supported Special Tribunal for Lebanon of those responsible for the 2005 killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The court’s progress has been slowed, in part, by attacks on its team in Beirut.

    With a new generation of leadership, and reinvigorated backing from the international community, the I.C.C. must, and will surely, right itself. But no international court can address more than a fraction of the crimes awaiting judicial scrutiny — hence the importance of national trials for international crimes.

    The reversal of fortune in Guatemala graphically illustrates the challenges that can stand in the way of local judicial processes. But the factors that have advanced the case against Ríos Montt have not changed; indeed, they provide an inspiration for those around the world, in Haiti, Kenya, Sri Lanka and even in the United States, who would wish to see justice done for serious offences.

    First, the case against the former general was brought by an attorney general, Claudia Paz y Paz; and it has been tried by first instance judges, including Jazmín Barrios, who each showed determination and courage in braving threats of violence to do their jobs. Second, several NGOs worked tirelessly for more than a decade to gather and preserve forensic and documentary evidence, to support victims to come forward and give testimony, and to educate the wider public about what was at stake. Third, the diplomatic community underscored the proceeding’s importance with unusual consistency and unity. During the trial, notwithstanding the troubling role of the Reagan administration in backing Ríos Montt in the 1980s, U.S. envoys offered backing for the process through visits to the courtroom, public statements and meetings with Guatemalan officials.

    The very act of bringing Ríos Montt to trial has already accomplished much: in allowing victims to speak openly about what they suffered, stimulating public debate, and methodically setting forth in a 700-page opinion the extensive record of criminality.

    But with this same combination of capable judicial actors, amplified victim voices and sustained international pressure, Guatemala can still demonstrate the power of local justice to deliver extraordinary results.

    James A. Goldston is the executive director of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

  • Majambazi Jangli

    colleague over Sh50,000 bribeUpdated Friday, June 21st 2013 at 12:58 GMT +3
    By BONIFACE GIKANDI
    Murang’a, Kenya: Panic gripped Gachocho village in Murang’a County after a female Administration Police officer was killed in cold blood by her junior male colleague over claims of sexually abusing her daughter.

    The two officers are also alleged to have differed over Sh 50,000 bribe they had received from a suspect they shielded
    from facing prosecution.

    0
    inShare.The female officer, Corporal Lydia Ndiruka was sprayed with bullets by her colleague Mr Joseph Kyonga over accusations he had defiled her nine year-old-daughter.

    The two were reportedly heading for a night duty before the argument ensued with the female officer implicating her colleague for defiling her daughter.

    Kyonga angered by the allegations made by her immediate boss reportedly shot Ms Ndiruka killing her on the spot.

    Colleagues at Gachocho Administration Police Camp said the two reside with their families and have been having a cold relationship over the defilement claims.

    “We heard gun shots only to find our corporal lying dead as the assailant fled. We later learnt that he surrendered himself to Kigumo police station,” said one of the officers.

    Kigumo Deputy OCPD Juma Londoh confirmed the incident saying the officer surrendered himself to Kigumo police station after the tragic incident.

    He said the officer will be arraigned in court immediately after police complete investigations as the body was removed to Thika district mortuary.

  • Ruto land grabber

    Ruto to pay Sh5m in land case

    Deputy President William Ruto was on Friday ordered to pay Sh5 million to a post-election violence victim for illegally occupying his land.

    The High Court’s order adds to the legal baggage Mr Ruto carries over Kenya’s political turmoil of 2007 and 2008.

    The Deputy President is set to stand trial at the International Criminal Court over charges related to the post-election violence on September 10.

    Mr Adrian Gilbert Muteshi accused Mr Ruto of hatching a plot to grab his 100-acre farm in Uasin Gishu during the 2008 post-election violence when he [Mr Muteshi] had fled for safety.

    The High Court in Nairobi ruled that Mr Muteshi had proved that the property was his and that he had been deprived of it.

    Due diligence

    Mr Ruto stated that he was an unsuspecting buyer who heard that some land was being sold and conducted due diligence before purchasing it from people he believed were the owners of the property.

    Last year, he had offered to vacate the land in an out-of-court settlement. But the deal collapsed when Mr Muteshi demanded compensation and payment of the cost of his suit.

    The matter went to trial, and Mr Ruto chose not to give oral evidence in court. However, he sent Uasin Gishu businessman Hosea Ruto, who was involved in the land sale, to testify on his behalf.

    Mr Muteshi also sued the Attorney-General and Ms Dorothy Yator, who was said to have sold the land to Mr Ruto and the surveyor who sub-divided the property.

    Reacting to the judgment, Mr Muteshi said he was not satisfied with the Sh5 million compensation. “It’s not a lot of money,” he said. “If you harvest maize for five years from somebody’s land, obviously there is much more value to that.”

    He said he accepted the judge’s decision and was glad that the land had reverted to him.

    Lady Justice Rose Ougo cleared Ms Yator, noting that she was consistent in her evidence that she had never had any dealings with the Deputy President and that her signatures were forged in the land sale deal.

    The judge concluded that evidence showed that Mr Muteshi owned the land and that he still had the title deed.

    She also concluded that the land was irregularly and fraudulently subdivided and sold to Mr Ruto. She did not hold the Deputy President liable in the irregular dealings with the land.

    “I can only attribute the irregular acts to Hosea Ruto (Mr Ruto’s witness) as honourable Ruto chose not to testify,” Justice Ougo said.

    The businessman was the only witness the Deputy President presented to court in his defence.

    During the trial, Mr Hosea Ruto noted that he acted on behalf of the Deputy President and organised a meeting between him and the alleged agents of the seller — Mr Bethuel Kipsang and Mr Peter Kosgei.

    The two men, posing as agents of Ms Yator and her husband, Daudi Kiptugen, met with Mr Ruto, then Agriculture minister, in his office and struck a deal to sell the land to him, the court heard.

    But Ms Yator told the court her signatures were forged to facilitate the sub-division and transfer the property to Mr Ruto.

  • Ruto ICC expenses

    Kenyans to incur over Ksh180 million to finance Ruto’s ICC case

    As the crimes against humanity case against Deputy President William Ruto and Radio Journalist Joshua Arap Sang is set to begin next month, Kenyans should brace themselves to incur the huge cost that comes with it.

    This is after it emerged that the costs in the case against Ruto will be borne by the poor Kenyans, who were affected by the very crimes. Reliable sources privy to the case indicate that Ruto alone will spend over Ksh180 million travelling to The Hague each time he will be required to appear in person together with his legal team. The cost will eventually be passed down to the common man by virtue of Ruto being the Deputy President of Kenya.

    This is another big scandal in waiting as Ruto is a man who has been embroiled in many scandals within his short stint in the office that have robbed Kenya millions of shillings. Besides, Kenyans didn’t ask Ruto to commit the crimes which he is being accused of, to warrant footing his personal expenses. In fact, the crimes were committed against the very Kenyans.

    As a result, everyone including Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta whose case will be coming later on, should lie in the beds they have made themselves.

  • International Center for Policy and Conflict cautions against spending public funds on ICC trials
    Updated Sunday, August 25th 2013 at 12:33 GMT +3

    By Standard Digital Reporter

    Nairobi, Kenya: International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) has warned the office of the Attorney General against using tax payers money to fund the International Criminal Court (ICC) trials as the cases are on personal criminal responsibility and not state responsibility.

    ICPC Executive Director Ndung’u Wainaina, in a statement, urged President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto not to drag the country into the cases, as both the Constitution of Kenya and Rome Statute are categorical on prosecution of nature of crimes they are facing.Â

    “Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Ruto while addressing the country during presidential debates and campaign rallies stated very clearly that ICC cases were personal challenge. They must not therefore make it national or bring official capacity as a mitigating factor now,” says Wainaina.

    He underscores the need for full disclosure on any expenditure related to the cases that are set to begin in September 10 (Ruto and Sang case) and November 11 for the president’s case.

    “The cases do not fall under the legitimate public purpose. The office should make full disclosure to the Public Accounts Committee of Senate and National Assembly of any public resources being spent on the ICC cases,” said Wainaina.

    Wainaina further urges the “office of Director of Public Prosecutions to act on its responsibilities and ensure victims are provided with the long overdue justice they deserve.”

  • deduct Ruto's pay

    Ruto’s case in The Hague will be a personal matter for weeks on end. Isn’t it just fair for government, that is extremely cash strapped, to dock Ruto’s pay? Deduct from his pay money equivalent to those days he’ll be cooped up in court at Den Haag. These savings may be be channeled to a more worthy cause such as feeding the IDPs.

  • Ruto burnt Kikuyus
  • Kalenjins killed Kikuyus

    Kenyans recall the screams of the dying in burning church

    January 03, 2008|Robyn Dixon

    KIAMBAA, KENYA — First, the attackers pelted the church with rocks to pin down the women, children and elderly people seeking shelter inside.

    The armed men then slammed the church doors shut. They piled bicycles and mattresses outside the main entrance and blocked a smaller door at the back. They went about their business efficiently.

    Inside the small Kenya Assemblies of God Church in Kiambaa, just outside the town of Eldoret in western Kenya, dozens of terrified people huddled together. They were Kikuyus, members of the tribe that has borne the brunt of the violence that followed last week’s disputed presidential election.

    The attackers, members of the rival Kalenjin tribe, poured fuel on the mattresses and piled on dried maize leaves from a nearby field. Then they set the barricades alight and waited until the flames burned high.

    The church turned into an oven.

    On Wednesday, the day after the attack, witnesses and survivors came to collect their families’ belongings from the churchyard. In muted voices, they told their stories, reliving the horror.

    There was so much screaming, said Samuel Mwangi, 34, who rushed to the church Tuesday to try to defend those trapped inside, that he could not distinguish the cries of the dying Kikuyu women and children from the clamor of Kalenjin women who came with the attackers to watch the slaughter.

    President Mwai Kibaki’s electoral victory, seen by the opposition as fraudulent, triggered days of ugly tribal violence from western Kenya to the coast. Mobs of opposition supporters have attacked Kibaki’s fellow Kikuyus, burned houses, looted shops, hacked people’s heads off or slashed them with machetes. Tribal fighting has raged around Eldoret and in some slum areas of Nairobi, the capital.

    The number of dead at the Kiambaa church was still unclear Wednesday. Many bodies were burned to ashes, according to a witness with the International Committee of the Red Cross, which recovered 17 corpses but estimated that 35 people had died. Accounts from witnesses such as Mwangi offer contradictory reports on the death toll.

    Some people did manage to escape the flames.

    Mwangi saw a woman break through the main entrance, a baby tied to her back. But the wrap holding the infant caught fire. As the mother leaped to safety, the baby fell back into the flames and died.

    The mother “ran away, with her hair burning. She was screaming,” Mwangi said.

    On Wednesday, the site was one of silent desolation. An acrid smell of ashes filled the air. Charred machetes, cooking pots and handbags were scattered on the ground beside children’s shoes: these small pink sandals fit a toddler; those running shoes, a child of 7 or 8.

    Inside the church was a piece of a Bible page, burned around the edges.

    Before the attack, as rumors tore through the district that Kalenjins were burning Kikuyus’ houses, the people of this small community reasoned that churches had often served as refuges in times of tribal tension.

    But Kenya’s violence in recent days, which has left at least 275 people dead, has crossed an invisible line. For the first time, Kenyan newspapers are raising the example of Rwanda, where more than 800,000 people died in ethnic killings in 1994.

    The current atrocities, dubbed by the government as “ethnic cleansing” of the dominant Kikuyus, are unexpected and deeply shocking to Kenyans.

    “We didn’t think that they could burn them in the church. It is a terrible thing. I’ve never heard of that thing before,” Mwangi said. “They did something which we can’t imagine.”

    From a helicopter over the district on Wednesday, roadblocks were visible, thrown up by tribal gangs every few hundred yards. Plumes of smoke rose where fields or houses were burning. The lush countryside was pocked with what looked like shadows: the ashes of hundreds of torched houses. In some areas every home was burned, while a neighboring area remained untouched — the stripe of tribe upon the landscape.

    In Nairobi slum districts, Kikuyus and Luos, a smaller tribe that for the most part backed the president’s rival, Raila Odinga, lived alongside each other and sometimes intermarried. But with the post-election violence, Luos were being driven from Kikuyu neighborhoods and vice versa. In the west of the country, hundreds of Kenyans have crossed the border to seek haven in Uganda.

    Monday night, as violence swept Kenya, the men of Kiambaa armed themselves with machetes called pangas and stayed awake to defend their families in case of attack. Tuesday morning, they slept, exhausted after a night of fear. They woke to screams, as women warned that the enemy was approaching.

    There were about 50 Kalenjins with bows and arrows and sharpened sticks. But as the Kiambaa men ran forward to fight, hundreds more attackers appeared.

    “When these people came, they were so many that even with our pangas, there was nothing we could do,” Mwangi said.

    After the church burned, he and others managed to get inside. There was not one recognizable face left. In death, mothers hugged children.

    Mwangi struggled for words to explain why something so unthinkable happened. “I think it’s a grudge. It’s because of politics.”

    Daniel Kibigo, 32, a mason, has a wife and two children. They stayed at home nearby when he ran to defend the church. When he returned home, he found that they had fled. He searched for them at the Catholic Cathedral in Eldoret, where hundreds are sheltering, but did not find them.

    On Wednesday, he still did not know whether they were alive.

    Kibigo’s brother, George, died Tuesday trying to rescue those in the church. He was cut down by men with pangas. He ran across a field, blood pouring from a gash on his head, before he collapsed.

    “When I saw my brother was dead, and even now I don’t know where my family is, I feel as if I’m fed up with life,” Kibigo said. “My children, my mother, my wife, I don’t know where they are. I am just hoping they are alive.”

    Daniel Mwangi, a disabled man of about 40 who normally used a wheelchair, tried to flee the attack on one leg and a crutch. He fell, shot by an arrow. Attackers piled maize leaves over him and set him afire.

    The violence and burning have frightened and enraged many Kikuyus. For Samuel Mwangi, his neighbors on Tuesday became “our enemies.” But despite everything he saw, hate was a word he would not use.

    Nor did he want revenge. “No, we want peace. We want to go back to our houses.”

  • remember Kiambaa victims
  • Kiambaa church massacre

    Kiambaa Kenyans Reflect on Past Election Violence

    Mohammed Yusuf

    March 03, 2013

    ELDORET, KENYA — Five years ago during election-related violence in Kenya, young people brutally attacked and burned a church in Kiambaa – which housed ethnic Kikuyus who fled from their farms and houses. Today, on the eve of another election, locals remembered the tragedy at a church service.

    Worshipers sang at Kiambaa Church in Eldoret, in the Rift Valley region of Kenya. It was here in early 2008 when young men from the Kalenjin and Kikuyu tribes fought around the church, which housed hundreds of people who had fled their homes during the initial post-election violence.

    According to some of the witnesses and survivors, about 200 Kikuyu men tried to defend their women and children inside the church.

    After more than an hour fighting, they say the Kikuyu men were overpowered by more than 1,000 Kalenjin youths who were attacking the church from all directions.

    Anne Mwangi, now 44, is one of the people in the church who survived that day with her four children.

    She says when she escaped the church the attackers grabbed her hand and said they were trying protect her while she looked for her children. She says when she reached the gate, she was shocked when she saw an old man hacked to death with an axe.

    Peter Mwangi is the son of the man who hacked to death that day. Mwangi says he and his father were among the people who tried to fight back and defend their families being attacked inside the church.

    The father of two says when they were overpowered he and other young men tried to run to the main road to call for help.

    He says it took two hours for the police to arrive and chase the attackers away. After that, he says they saw their people had been burned to death in the church and some killed outside.

    Lingering fears

    In this election the political landscape is different as Kikuyu and Kalenjin are united in the Jubilee alliance.

    But for Peter Mwangi, the grief of his loss then is as real as his fear today. He says he could not go back to point out where his father was killed because of possible reprisals from some of his neighbors.

    He says the locals are from different tribes, and some of his neighbors are not good people. He says he fears they will think he is giving out information on the attackers and it is best not to speak about it.

    Paul Karanja is a pastor in the new church, built 10 meters from where the original church was burned down. He says this community did not get enough help from the police following the last elections and there is little faith the response will be better if there is election violence again.

    “We thought policemen could help [protect] us from the attacks, although they did not. Houses were burned when police were there. They were just shooting up [in the air], but they were doing nothing else…”

    Human-rights organizations have also raised concerns about the ability of the Kenyan police to handle possible election-related violence. But security officials have assured Kenyans this time that they are ready and up to the task.

  • Naivasha killings

    Kenya: The Truth About the Naivasha Killings

    As the repercussions of inter-tribal clashes dawn upon kenyans, more light is being shed on how they were planned and executed. One of the worst revenge attacks which left dozens dead or maimed, was experienced in naivasha town in the rift valley. Using eyewitness accounts from survivors, Odhiambo T. Oketch and Pius Mongere report about the horror faced by victimized residents before and after the attacks. I have been to naivasha on two occasions to help evacuate some of my relatives who were victims of the violence that took place in naivasha.

    The first time, we did not get the gory details of what took place, and i bet, the press is afraid of bringing some of these planned murders and killings in naivasha to the fore. We must have the courage to face the truth and confront the same, then talk of the healing process. If we sweep this under the rug, we are doing nothing. Politicians and administrative officers involved the naivasha massacre was planned in complicity with government agencies. The police were informed, and they only brought officers who were not armed to confront the murderous mungiki (banned militia) team. The dc (district commissioner) was in the picture, as some of the politicians who had lost in the recent general elections. They were well coordinated by donations from some current cabinet ministers and the pangas (machetes) that they used were bought at the shamba hardware store in naivasha town. When the mungiki were to strike on the january 27, 2008, the prison warders came out and thwarted all their moves. They retreated so that orders could be made to bar the prison warders from coming out in support of non-kikuyus who were the target. When they struck the second time, they were under police escort, and they specifically killed luos, in a systematic way. They torched their houses and chased them like rats in town. When the luo organized themselves to hit back, the police shot at the them instead. This went on for three days. Within this time, the mungiki murderers were housed at lakeside and silver hotels. They used to come to town at 6:00 am, reign terror until 6:00 pm when they retreated to their hotels to brief their paymasters, chief among them former and current mps. The naivasha massacre of the luos was well planned in a meeting attended by politicians like uhuru kenyatta and jayne kihara among others, and top businessmen such as chris kirubi, jimna mbaru, and george muhoho.

    They were annoyed that it is the luo who had made things elephant for them. They hence came up with a plan that hitting at the luo would be the best thing. They did not look at the fact that it is the kalenjin who removed them mostly from the rift valley. They thought that it was the luo who had made the kalenjin do that. Biased red cross and mungiki paymasters the kenya red cross society that has been acclaimed as one of the best relief support agencies, did not come to the aid of the internally displaced persons (idps) at naivasha prisons for a whole 3 days, yet, they were in burnt forest and eldoret within hours of the fracas breaking out. It came out that the red cross, just like the government, was partisan in addressing the problems. In the case of naivasha, the red cross and the government were looking at it as a luo affair, not a kenyan affair. This partisan approach to the massacre has exposed the red cross as a dishonest agency. When the mungiki youths went to kabati cemetery for oath-taking, the police were very much in the picture. When they ransacked kabati estate, the police looked helpless.

    When the people ran to naivasha prisons for safety, the police moved in on the road, armed and ready to shoot at anyone who dared come out of the prison. I reckon they should have been engaging the mungiki so that they could save non-kikuyu property, but they only escorted them on the macabre mission.

    The world must know the truth. And it is this truth that will set us free. Why were kikuyus hell bent on eliminating luos from naivasha, when it is a known fact that luos never killed any kikuyu in nyanza at the beginning of the evictions? why were kikuyus in naivasha cheering and telling luos that they wanted majimbo (regionalism), yet now had to be evicted? why were the police under instructions to safeguard mungiki, and to shoot to kill at any show of resistance, people who stood helpless as their houses were being burnt and their people killed as they watched? it is time to make clear distinctions; those who shout loudest about crimes against humanity, are the main paymasters of the murderous mungiki sect.

  • Kenya and the international court

    It’s show time
    Sep 7th 2013

    FIVE years after a violent election that drove Kenya to the brink of civil war, some of the alleged leading perpetrators are at last to go on trial. The first, on September 10th, is William Ruto, a leader of the Kalenjin group, who was elected vice-president in March. A month or two later it will be the turn of his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, a leader of the Kikuyu tribe, who is being tried separately.

    The two men stand accused of pitting their communities against each other in campaigns of ethnic cleansing and murder in early 2008 that left a good 1,300 people dead. But they teamed up last year to win parliamentary and presidential elections held this March, partly by stirring up national and tribal feeling against the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, where they are to be tried.

    Warnings from Kenya’s Western allies evidently had little effect on the voters. As a result, their relations with Mr Kenyatta and his new government have been frosty, though on a visit to London in May he did meet Britain’s prime minister. Kenya seems quite cheery. In June the World Bank said its economy “could be in a position for a take-off”. With an indictee of the ICC riding so high, the court looks isolated as it tries a sitting head of state for the first time.

    Messrs Kenyatta and Ruto face long prison sentences if convicted. Their trials may last several years and could keep Kenya’s leaders away from government business for long, disruptive periods. Strains are already showing. Some witnesses who had previously agreed to testify against Mr Kenyatta are unwilling to do so now. Their reluctance has resulted in the dropping of separate charges against Francis Muthaura, the former head of the civil service, one of several other people originally indicted.

    Partisan coverage in some local papers has fostered the impression that the cases against the two leaders have already been fatally weakened. Readers are lapping it up. Since the election, opinion polls show waning support for the prosecution. Approval rates for the ICC have dipped from nearly 60% to less than 40%.

    James Gondi, who campaigns for legal rights, says the country’s leaders are conducting a “propaganda war” and parading themselves as heroes defending their communities. But he still hopes that once the trials get under way Kenyan consciences will be pricked by the gravity of the charges against the president and his deputy.

    The accused have not had it all their own way. Mr Ruto failed in his application to have the hearings moved from the Netherlands to Kenya or neighbouring Tanzania. A ruling on a similar appeal by Mr Kenyatta is expected on September 7th. The defendants’ attempts to rally support at the UN Security Council to have their cases dropped came to nothing. African Union leaders have condemned the prosecution of two of their own but none of the 34 African states that signed up to the Rome statute of the ICC has withdrawn from it.

    “A perception game is afoot,” says Elizabeth Evenson of Human Rights Watch, a New York-based lobby, and so far the ICC has been doing badly. The court looks feeble after dropping charges against one of the accused and failing to protect witnesses. Kenyan victim groups say they have been warned against watching the hearings on television. Mr Ruto is to travel to The Hague with 100 MPs to show he has popular support. They will try to force Kenya to withdraw from the Rome statute, though that would not affect the trial. Judges must wonder if the accused will eventually stop turning up, making a mockery of the new system of international justice. Whether Kenya or the court would look more isolated is moot.

    Meanwhile, the ICC needs to bolster its credibility elsewhere. It would help if war criminals outside Africa were brought before it; the Balkan villains of the 1990s were tried under separate UN-sponsored tribunals. While preliminary investigations are under way in Latin America and the Middle East, they have so far failed to lead to indictments, let alone convictions. This has allowed the court’s African critics to accuse it of “race hunting”, even though most African cases were referred to the ICC by African governments; Kenya’s consented. When the ICC’s flamboyant chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, an Argentine, stood down, he was replaced by a doughty Gambian lady, Fatou Bensouda.

    In any case, the ICC’s wheels of justice grind too slowly. The court at The Hague, as distinct from the temporary tribunals that have judged people in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, has convicted only one person, a Congolese warlord, Thomas Lubanga. That took six years. Some fear the Kenyan trials may take even longer.

    http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21584996-trial-kenyas-president-uhuru-kenyatta-pictured-right-and-his-deputy

  • Lawyers oppose proposal for Deputy President William Ruto to delegate duties
    Updated Tuesday, September 24th 2013 at 00:20 GMT +3

    By FELIX OLICK

    The Hague: The Prosecution at the International Criminal Court ( ICC) has suggested that somebody else should be sworn in on a temporary basis to discharge the duties of Deputy President William Ruto.

    This came as Deputy President William Ruto’s trial at the ICC was adjourned after a request to allow him return to Nairobi following the terrorist attack on Westgate Mall.

    The suggestion by Prosecution counsel Anton Stynberg triggered a heated exchange in court Monday, with Ruto’s lead lawyer, Karim Khan, rubbishing the suggestion as “a regime coup by the ICC”.

    Mr Sternberg maintained that Ruto should delegate his duties as Deputy President so that the initial ICC schedule is not adversely affected.

    “Mr Ruto knows and has been knowing for a considerable time now that he has a case to answer before this court,” Sternberg told the three-judge bench.

    “He should delegate the necessary powers to somebody else,” he said as the court debated whether the trial could continue in Ruto’s absence.

    Jubilee-allied leaders, who were following the proceedings from the public gallery, shouted in disapproval after the Prosecution made the suggestion.

    In the gallery were Kericho Senator Charles Keter, Senate Deputy Speaker Kembi Gitura and his National Assembly counterpart Joyce Laboso.

    But Khan dismissed the Prosecution’s remarks terming them “irresponsible prosecutorial utterances”.

    He insisted that Ruto has duties delegated to him directly by the Kenyan Constitution.

    Domestic issues

    “Only the Attorney General of Kenya would be appropriate to speak on the Kenyan Constitution. It’s not for this court to rule on the domestic issues of a sovereign state,” Khan submitted.

    Katwa Kigen also said that under the Kenyan Constitution, the Deputy President can only be replaced if completely unavailable, incapacitated or impeached.

    But in his submission in court, Sternberg said that Kenya has a functioning Cabinet, security team and intelligence and can operate without Ruto.

    “We are not opposed to a limited and a discreet time, no more than one week,” he said.

    He, however, maintained that Ruto can get briefings and give instructions though telephone calls after court sessions in the evening.

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