Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Thu May 10, 2012 9:09 pm

Standard Digital

Kenya’s poll among world’s most costly

Published Friday, May 11 2012 at 00:00

By Standard Digital Reporter

Kenya will have one of the world’s most expensive elections next year if electoral officials get their way.

Standard Digital can report that taxpayers risk paying several times more per voter than people in other countries fork out. This raises serious questions on whether the proposed costs of the next General Election have been inflated.

Officials with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission today rejected Sh17 billion set aside by Treasury for the planned March 4, 2013 poll. Instead, they are demanding Sh35 billion to conduct the first election under the new constitution as well as an anticipated run-off shortly thereafter.

IEBC chairman Mr Isaack Hassan said if they plan the March 4, 2013 elections using the Sh17.5 billion Treasury has allocated the commission in the 2012/2013 budget, they will be forced to extend the election date by two or three days. He said the commission’s budget has a deficit of Sh23 billion and it will cost them at least Sh17.5billion to carry out a re-run in case of a tie in the presidential election.

Hassan and his Chief Executive Officer Mr James Oswago who appeared before the parliamentary Justice and legal Affairs Committee said yesterday they require a minimum of Sh35billion to carry out efficient and credible election next year.

“Election expenses are dictated by the type of an election the country wants to hold. The report of the Johann Kriegler Commission criticized the defunct ECK for allowing dead voters to participate in the 2007 General Election. So a huge chunk of the money were asking the treasury to give us will go to capital investment like purchase of biometric equipment for voters’ registration, acquisition of electronic poll books among other things,” said Hassan.

He said will be the first time the country was voting in six elections in a day, which will take voters longer than the previous polls.

“On average it takes a voter 4 to minutes to complete the six ballot papers. And will take an assisted voter a minimum of 15 minutes to complete the exercise,” said the IEBC chairman.

Oswago, who took the committee through the commission’s vote in the proposed budget, said the Treasury decision to reduce their funding by more than a half has affected the preparation for the upcoming elections.

“Going by the experience we had in 2010 during the referendum, and by-elections we have so far conducted, our estimates are based on the materials consumption and other additions that we need to make. The commission needs additional allocation and here to ask for the same,” said Oswago.

The next general election will involve some 18 million voters, 45,000 polling stations, 350,000 election officials, 100,000 security officers, 338 tallying centers at Constituency, County and National levels and 47 voting points for Diaspora.

Voter are expected to elect a President, 47 Governors, 47 Senators, 47 Women Representatives, 290 MPs and 1, 450 County Assemblers.

The Hassan commission revealed to the committee that other issues that have seen the cost the election shot over the roof was the use of lawyers as commissioners of oath to the polling officials at the cost of Sh500 per person.
“If we hire around 270, 000 officials during the polling day and they are administered with oath at the cost of Sh500 per person, we are talking of about Sh135million, “observed Oswago.

The per-capita cost of the election proposed by IEBC officials would make Kenya’s next election one of the most expensive ever conducted anywhere in the world.

Only countries coming out of a war, where peacekeeping troops were needed to ensure voter safety, have similar or higher costs.

Kenyans already pay more for elections per capita than do most other citizens of the world. If a budget of Sh35 billion were approved, it would work out to some $10 per person and a whopping $23 per voter. According to the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network, a group of organisations that track election costs, this is more than was spent on some of the world’s costliest elections. When Nicaragua went to the polls in 1990 in the wake of the brutal Sandinista regime, it spent $11.8 per voter. Angola spent $22 a voter in 1992 in the first elections after a 17-year civil war. In both cases, much of the cost went to peacekeeping operations. Other former war-zones like Liberia ($6.1) and El Salvador ($4.1) managed lower costs in their first post-conflict elections.

The amount approved by Cabinet and allocated by Treasury for Kenya’s 2013 poll, Sh17 billion, would work out to about $10 per elector.

“Low costs of about $1 to $3 per voter are common in the United States and most of Western Europe,” write ACE researchers. “A number of nations around the world also report low costs, including Benin ($1.6), Botswana ($2.7), Ghana ($0.7) and Senegal ($1.2) in Africa.”

Uganda, which has less multi-party electoral experience, averages about $3.7 per voter for their polls. Africa faces about 20 elections this year. Five involve a recent conflict, peace-making efforts or a presidential succession. These are expected to be the most costly. ACE is a collaborative effort between nine organisations, including IDEA, EISA, IFES, UNDESA, UNDP and UNEAD.

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000057945
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Thu May 10, 2012 9:11 pm

Standard Digital

Judiciary readies for General Election

By David Ohito

Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga has appointed an eight member committee to design and execute a Judiciary programme to build the capacity of judges, magistrates and other judicial officers on electoral matters.

The committee will also and suggest ways of working with other stakeholders in resolving electoral disputes and offences.

“Heading into the biggest election this country has ever held, the Judiciary is keenly aware of its multiple, special roles with regard to the elections.” The CJ said.

He picked Mr Justice Mohammed Ibrahim of the Supreme Court to chair the Judiciary Working Committee on Elections. The Committee will also comprise Justice (Prof) Smokin Wanjala of the Supreme Court, Mr Justice David Maraga of the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Paul Kihara Kariuki of the Judiciary Training Institute and the Court of Appeal, Lady Justice Helen Omondi and Mr Justice David Majanja of the High Court, as well as Hon. Roseyln Oganyo, Senior Principal Magistrate, and Lilian Arika, Principal Magistrate,both based at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi.

Mutunga warned that it will no longer be business as usual over electoral matters and nobody will be allowed to ignore or trash the covenants signed during elections.

“For a long time, Kenya successfully disguised its electoral weaknesses from the world, and thus appeared to do better than most of her neighbours.”

He warned: “Violence, in whatever form, is outlawed. Leaders at all levels must live by the values articulated in the Constitution. For political leaders and all those holding public office, the wages of violating any of the provisions of the Constitution are writ large in law.”

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000057935
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Fri May 11, 2012 7:00 am

The Nation (a U.S. publication, not Kenya's Daily Nation)

International Criminal Court on Trial in Kenya

Karen Rothmyer May 9, 2012

Nairobi

By the time International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo held a press conference in The Hague in December 2010 to announce that he was charging six Kenyans with crimes against humanity, speculation about the names on his list had been rife here for months. At the newspaper where I work, various reporters claimed to have it on good authority that such-and-such a person would be cited as having played a key role in the violence that followed the contentious 2007 presidential election. Security was stepped up in areas thought ripe for a renewal of the fighting, which had left more than 1,000 people dead and brought former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to town to broker a peace agreement. Having lived through the post-election period, I couldn’t help being a bit nervous.

In the end, Kenyans’ good sense prevailed; even the area that had experienced the most vicious attacks remained calm (those attacks, while triggered by the disputed election, can be traced back to longstanding land disputes between members of the Kalenjin and Kikuyu communities). But the ICC process—the prospect of which had been roiling the country since Annan threatened to involve the court if Kenya didn’t set up a credible tribunal itself—was only getting started. Now that the country has been plunged into full-on campaigning for the next presidential election—currently scheduled for March 2013, though the date is still being disputed—the ICC looms ever larger in public life.

Every twist and turn of the ICC process has been the stuff of high drama: thanks to live televised pre-trial proceedings, Chief Judge Ekaterina Tredafilova became as well known as Kenya’s top soccer stars, and bitter battles have erupted in Parliament over the question of whether anyone charged by the ICC should be allowed to run for president. This latter is an issue of considerable relevance, since two of the four people now awaiting trial (charges against the other two were not confirmed) are presidential aspirants. One, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, is the US-educated son of the country’s first president. The other, William Ruto, is a prominent member of Parliament. The two have been traveling the country together holding “prayer meetings” at which their supporters portray them as victims of a neocolonial effort to subjugate Africa.

In March the rhetoric ratcheted up another notch when Prime Minister Raila Odinga, believed by many to have been the real winner of the 2007 election and running again for president, accused Kenyatta and Ruto of “damu mkononi” (having blood on their hands), while MP Cecily Mbarire described the ICC as “a slaughterhouse” and urged Kenyatta to ignore any summons to the court. Then, in late April, President Mwai Kibaki launched an effort to get the ICC cases shifted to the East African Court of Justice, a move condemned by critics as a last-ditch attempt to shield the four suspects.

This, in short, is what the impact of the ICC looks like on the ground: front-page headlines, political theater, and nasty exchanges that heighten the tensions between ethnic groups. “The ICC’s actions are now in effect an inescapable element of the political process as Kenya heads to elections,” the International Crisis Group wrote in a January policy briefing.

None of this is good for business. Jaindi Kisero, a leading economic commentator, predicted just before the ICC announced the names of the accused that “until we successfully undergo the [ICC] process, the macroeconomic environment will remain covered by dark clouds. Investors abhor political uncertainty and unpredictable situations.” In late April Kenya’s Business Daily reported that in recent months the country’s perceived level of risk for investors has been adversely affected by factors including “increasing tensions” over the ICC prosecution.

Such instability is doubtless not what the creators of the ICC envisioned. Likewise, it’s not what the more than 100 countries that have endorsed the court (including Kenya) expected when they began to sign on more than a dozen years ago. But it is what I see around me every day, and it has brought home how easy it is to get swept along by intellectual currents—maybe I mean intellectual fashions—without fully appreciating where they may take us.

In 1993 the New York Times endorsed the concept of an international criminal court as a method of trying people “who flout globally recognized standards of behavior.” In early 2001 The Nation applauded President Clinton’s signing of the treaty (later renounced by the Bush administration) and placed it in a line of progressive international accords. To the best of my knowledge, however, no one at the time talked about what ICC actions might mean for countries caught up in them, especially in cases where prominent people are involved. Kenya thus offers important lessons, whatever the outcome of the current prosecutions.

My feeling is that Kenya is paying dearly for not maintaining control of its destiny. Discussions of critical social and economic issues—which tend to take second place to politics in the best of times—have been all but crowded out of the public sphere by ICC matters. I also think a strong argument can be made that outsiders should leave it to the Kenyans themselves to demand a judicial system independent enough to deal with all forms of crime, regardless of how long that takes. But then I remember what my neighbor Ron Slye, an international human rights lawyer, said recently when we were arguing this point. “Who pays the price?” he asked. “At the end of the day, I’m on the side of the victims—the people displaced or killed or raped. Yes, the ICC is not perfect, but at least it’s something.”

Kenyans remain generally positive about the ICC. A December poll showed support at 54 percent. But that support has been steadily dropping (it was 68 percent in mid-2009), which reflects a growing unease. Recently I met with a group of Kenyans brought together by a friend who, like them, attends a church not far from where I live. It’s in a poor neighborhood whose main thoroughfare is lined with dusty shops selling vegetables, household goods and phone cards. But the church sits in an attractive compound that, on a Saturday afternoon, was a busy mix of people building a new church hall, tending flower beds or otherwise helping out.

The group, mostly in their 20s and with occupations ranging from welder to aspiring musician, all agreed that it was better to have the ICC prosecuting post-election crimes than not. But they also spoke of their disappointment at how long the process was taking. “At first I was happy that people hurt by the post-election violence were going to find justice,” said Geoffrey Njoroge, 27. But now, he added, he fears that many of the estimated 600,000 people forced to flee their homes—including his own family—will be in the refugee camps “forever.”

Njoroge’s relatives were originally from the central province of Kenya but had been living among people of another ethnic group for several generations when the violence erupted. It was not the first time there had been trouble, he noted; in 1992 and again in 1997 there had been clashes prompted by disputes over land, but they were “mostly wars of words.” After the 2007 election, however, armed men threatened his family and neighbors and burned their houses to the ground.

Nicholas Yego, 29, said that at first he, like Njoroge, was optimistic about what the ICC could accomplish and was ready to see the alleged leaders of the violence summoned to The Hague. “I felt, let them go and defend themselves,” he said. But over time, he came to believe that “the ICC was mostly targeting Africa,” which made him begin to question its proceedings.

Yego’s comments point to one of the most serious problems the ICC has in Kenya: the perception that it is a Western project aimed at Africans. Even people who strongly support the ICC say the organization has played into these perceptions by choosing Kenya as its first ICC-initiated case, even though it’s never had a single non-African case before it. (Other prosecutions, such as that of Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga, who in March became the first person convicted by the ICC, were referred by the UN Security Council or by the countries themselves).

Solomon Dersso, a senior researcher at the South Africa–based Institute of Security Studies, says the ICC and Western countries have given the court’s critics ample reason to be suspicious about who is calling the shots. As one example, he observes that the foreign minister of Italy announced that the ICC would begin an investigation of war crimes by members of the Qaddafi regime in Libya before the court itself announced it. He also notes that although the ICC was intended to complement local judicial institutions, foreign donors have shown little interest in building these up, preferring to fund the ICC instead. The result, he says, is often that “the ICC becomes the first-instance court.”

I suspect that the ICC’s choices of whom to go after stem not from a conscious targeting of Africa but rather from the assumption that underlies much of the West’s interaction with the continent: these people need our superior wisdom and “help.” Of course, serious human rights violations have occurred. But after five years of watching Western ambassadors wag their fingers and NGO officials make condescending remarks, I am led to wonder whether the ICC—and indeed the whole international human rights industry—automatically looks to Africa as the obvious place to focus its efforts.

African countries also suffer from not having powerful protectors—unlike Syria, for example, where Russia has blocked efforts to get the ICC involved. There is also the fact that many countries accused of human rights abuses (among them the United States, China and Israel) have refused to be a party to the ICC statute, making it unlikely that crimes committed in those countries will be prosecuted [see Reed Brody, page 24]. As the website This Is Africa commented recently, “So we’re left with a situation whereby the ICC is going after Africans by default.”

Peter Kagwanja remembers that the first time he paid serious attention to the ICC was in 2004, when officials in the foreign affairs ministry asked his advice on whether Kenya should accede to US demands not to hand over any American citizen to the ICC. Kagwanja says the attitude of the United States was so high-handed that “I advised, ‘Tell America to go to hell.’”

These days Kagwanja, a former Fulbright scholar at the University of Illinois, advises the government on how to deal with the Kenyan ICC cases. He tried unsuccessfully to slow down the process, a push that included lobbying members of the UN Security Council to request a delay. Kagwanja believes the ICC did not have sufficient grounds to get involved in Kenya and that, by doing so, it has hampered efforts to strengthen local institutions, including the courts. “We have a very strong faith in our ability to build our own institutions,” Kagwanja says. The ICC case may have sped up Kenyans’ battle against impunity, he says, but it has come at the cost of “national sovereignty and dignity.”

Taking a different view is Mugambi Kiai, a Harvard-trained lawyer and the Kenya program manager for the Open Society Foundation’s Eastern Africa Initiative. Rather than hampering efforts to build strong institutions, he says, the ICC has actually aided them by showing that anyone—even Uhuru Kenyatta—can be put in the dock. He cites several examples of challenges he thinks would never have happened without the ICC; these include a case brought by members of the Samburu community, who claim that land sold by retired President Daniel arap Moi actually belongs to them, and legal efforts to remove Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza for threatening a security guard at a local mall. “Boldness is like education,” he says. “Suddenly you do everything differently. There is a new boldness germinating, and it will become infectious.”

Probably the American with the most informed vantage point on the ICC’s activities in Kenya is Ron Slye, the neighbor I mentioned earlier. A law professor at Seattle University, he’s the only non-African member of Kenya’s Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, set up as part of the 2008 peace accord. The TJRC has spent much of the past three years taking testimony from Kenyans affected by the post-election events and earlier incidents of inter-ethnic-group violence. While the commission is not connected to the ICC, it has grappled with many of the problems that form a historical backdrop to the international court’s cases.

Slye says he believes the ICC’s intervention was justified, given that Kenya had demonstrated that it lacked the political will to punish those responsible for the violence (a recent Human Rights Watch report found that in one hard-hit district, there had not been a single conviction in the 230 cases involving post-election killings). “It was clear government wasn’t going to do anything,” he said.

At the same time, however, Slye says he recognizes that there are costs, including possible disillusionment: “The ICC is more victim-oriented than many judicial proceedings, but it’s still more focused on criminals than victims. You have an enormous number of citizens who have been assaulted, raped or killed,” he added. “These people might see the ICC as often more interested in prosecutions than in helping them.” For that reason, he says, it’s important to pursue what he calls “restorative justice” through such means as the TJRC at the same time that criminal prosecutions are under way.

Slye told me that when he returns to the classroom this fall, it will be with a much greater appreciation of the gulf between principle and reality. “It’s very easy to sit in Cambridge or New Haven or Palo Alto and decide what needs to be done,” he said. “I will say to students, ‘Have a little humility.’”

The campaign for Kenya’s next president is likely to coincide with the trials of the people against whom charges were confirmed, unless their current appeals are more successful than previous ones (the judges for the trials have been announced, but the dates have not yet been set). Given that fact, the ICC will continue to play a major role in the country’s public life.

Moreno-Ocampo rather bombastically claimed at the time he announced the charges that “by breaking the cycle of impunity for massive crimes, victims and their families can have justice. And Kenyans can pave the way to peaceful elections.” But Peter Kagwanja paints a much darker picture, claiming that the ICC has polarized politics and worsened hostilities between communities. When the ICC confirmed charges against the four Kenyans last September, he says, “things fell apart—and in a huge way. Central Kenya [home to Kenyatta] became radicalized, and so did the Rift Valley [home to Ruto].”

I hope he’s wrong. I also hope that the ICC will grow into a universally well-regarded institution and that future Kenyan historians will conclude that, all things considered, it benefited the country. Right now, however, I would say that on all counts, the jury is still out.

Karen Rothmyer

http://www.thenation.com/article/167810 ... rial-kenya
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby Njamlik » Fri May 11, 2012 7:48 am

If you really want to help post-election violence victims, send this to Ocampo as well:

http://kenyangenocide.blogspot.com/2008 ... ocide.html

His trial will be a sham until the day he acknowledges what really happened.

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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Fri May 11, 2012 8:04 am

I don't take advice from people who try to blackmail others (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=23474) into silence so that Uhuru Kenyatta can avoid justice.
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Fri May 11, 2012 8:45 am

theStar

Kenya: ICC Says Cases Will Not Go to Arusha

By Nzau Musau, 9 May 2012

THE ICC has dismissed the proposal that the Ocampo Four cases can be transferred to the East African Court of Justice in Arusha.

Spokesman Fadi Abdalla said it is "technically impossible" to transfer the Hague cases in the manner suggested by the East Africa Legislative Assembly last month. He said the cases can only be taken off the ICC jurisdiction through procedures stipulated in the Rome Statute.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Eldoret North MP William Ruto, former Civil Service head Francis Muthaura, and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang are facing charges of crimes against humanity arising out of the post election violence in 2007 and 2008. "On a general note, we can not speak technically about a "transfer" of cases by the ICC. The Kenyan cases are at the trial stage," Abdalla said.

He however said there is still a chance to challenge admissibility even after trial has commenced but only in exceptional circumstances approved by the trial chamber. "Only, if the conditions for it, as specified in Articles 17 and 19 of the Rome Statute, are fulfilled, cases can be declared inadmissible before the ICC and can proceed before other tribunals," he said.

Abdalla did not speak of deferral which is a postponement of proceedings for 12 months and usually done at the request of the UN Security Council. He said resolutions such as the one made by the East African Parliament have no effect in the ICC.

Only filings that are submitted to the ICC in accordance with the procedural rules of the court can be decided on by the Judges. He said so far no communication has been received at the court in that regard.

"I am sorry I cannot answer your question in more detail, since some of those issues might be brought to the chamber and it will be for the judges to give the answers," Abdalla said.

In March, a panel appointed by the government to advise on the ICC warned that any further admissibility challenge to "recover" jurisdiction of the four accused is unlikely to be granted.

The panel said for this to happen Kenya would have to show evidence of genuine ability and willingness by all parts of the justice system to try the matter. The panel did not mention the Arusha proposal.

The panel recommended the appointment of an independent special prosecutor as the basis of another admissibility challenge. "In view of where the ICC process in respect of the four accused has reached, a national process that is sufficiently advanced as against the four accused would have to be demonstrated," said the report handed to the AG Githu Muigai.

Last year, Kenya made an admissibility challenge at the ICC against the cases but lost all the way up to appeal. The suspects also lodged both admissibility and jurisdictional appeals and lost. Some matters are still pending in the appeal chamber. Yesterday, several foreign ambassadors interviewed by the Star said the Arusha approach was not viable.

Arusha does not yet have jurisdiction and even then it would still take time to build the capacity of the court and obtain the necessary international legitimacy, said one diplomat.

Last month, an extraordinary summit of East African heads of state chaired by President Kibaki endorsed the EALA resolution to expand the jurisdiction of the Arusha court to cover crimes against humanity. Last week, the Star reported that Prime Minister Raila Odinga had met William Ruto on April 23 in an effort to woo him back to ODM.

However Raila later denounced the story as "cheap lies" through his spokesman Dennis Onyango. In particular he denied that anything was discussed about the ICC with Ruto.

"As all Kenyans know, ICC matters are handled at The Hague, in The Netherlands, and not in Atlanta or Tallahassee where the PM was visiting last week," said the statement.

It was denied that the meeting was set up by the PM's wife Ida saying she has not visited Ruto's home "in recent years.She however stands by her statement of sympathy with Hon Ruto and his family, which she issued after the confirmation of charges against the four suspects by the ICC as an expression of human fellow feeling, not a fight against the Court."

Recently Raila has taken a softer line on the ICC. On his arrival back from the USA last Thursday he told a press conference that he would not oppose President Kibaki's initiative on Arusha.

"Even if the PM might seek to get the ICC cases out of the political electoral equation, such a deferral request is allowed under ICC rules," said an ODM insider yesterday.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201205091061.html
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Sat May 12, 2012 9:36 am

Saturday Nation

Opinion

Fears that criminals will be freed driving Kenya towards a truly African court

By KWAMCHETSI MAKOKHA
Posted Friday, May 11 2012 at 18:32

After careful observation, the kangaroo nature of the International Criminal Court has become apparent for the entire world to see.

When 33 African states signed the treaty that created this court, they did not imagine that it could become the graveyard of justice for their long suffering people. Because of its record of investigations, prosecutions and judging, Africans are no longer guaranteed justice at this court.

Africans went to this court seeking justice. Instead, all they got was rank politics of the imperial kind. If the judges are not sentencing pan-African nationalists like Liberia’s Charles Taylor, they are issuing arrest warrants against peace-loving Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir.

Nowhere is the naked politics of the ICC more apparent than in the Kenya cases, in which the most senior political leaders of tomorrow are routinely summoned to fly out of the country and bow before foreign judges.

Many Kenyans can see right through this imperialist plot to siphon foreign currency out of the country by forcing its citizens to travel to Europe, a place where a dearth of tourists has already caused an economic meltdown.

Although ICC half-heartedly offered to hold the trials in Kenya, no one was fooled.

Given the ICC’s sloppiness, there is a real danger of the people who organised the post-election violence in 2007 in Kenya walking free.

Where would that leave the victims, and the country as a whole?

Justice delayed is justice denied. Kenya is very concerned by the delaying tactics at the ICC. After naming the suspects in December 2010, hauling them to a confirmation of charges hearing in September 2011 and deciding to commit only four of them to trial, it is doubtful that this case could be concluded before the Second Coming. Such a slow speed is simply not acceptable.

The court’s tardiness is also evident in its inability to transmit proceedings in real-time, opting instead to insert a 30-minute delay where it is not needed.

As a matter of fact, beaming proceedings on television is not African. It creates an unnecessary spectacle from a solemn process.

Kenya is painfully learning that cheap is expensive. After dutifully paying its assessed contribution of Sh1.4 million each year to finance the ICC, it is highly doubtful that the country will get any justice from this court.

It seems like the country will have to fork out more money to get a proper court going – either at the African Union or the East Africa Court of Justice.

That is why, as the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda winds down in a month’s time, the East African states can swiftly deploy it to excellent use by asking it to deal with crimes against humanity.

Justice, the way Africans understand it, is swift, sure and terrible. A demonstration of how African justice works has become desirable not only for the education of the ICC, but also for functional purposes of ensuring that the guilty do not go scot free.

Last year, in March, the Kenya Government shared with the ICC its report of what it was doing with the post-election violence.

The investigation was so wide-ranging that it captured all the crimes committed in the post-election violence period – from people who took advantage of the general breakdown of law and order to commit suicide, to those that had carnal knowledge of sheep on February 2, 2008.

The ICC was not interested. It has increasingly become clear that it wants to find the guilty innocent and jail the blameless.

Africa cannot wait for the ICC to write long-winded judgments in English, and have them translated into French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic.

That is why no effort should be spared in creating a truly African court that speaks an African language and delivers African justice.

kwamchetsi@formandcontent.co.ke

http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/-/ ... ls7qoez/-/
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Sat May 12, 2012 9:51 am

News24

Kenya appoints specialists to train judges

2012-05-11 10:27

Nairobi - Kenya has appointed a team of eight judges to help the courts prepare to handle election disputes and try to improve the credibility of the legal system before next year's presidential election.

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said on Thursday the deadly ethnic violence that followed a 2007 election might have been avoided if Kenya had better legal system for settling disputes.

Mutunga said the Supreme Court, created by a new constitution adopted in August 2010, will handle any petition arising out of the presidential election within 14 days, while the High Court will deal with all other election petitions.

"The electoral crisis of 2007 and its aftermath was caused by numerous malpractices and outright criminal activity, but exacerbated in large part by a refusal to take disputes to the courts," he told reporters.

"We in the judiciary intend to earn the public confidence that was so dented at the last election as to discourage parties from taking disputes to court," said Mutunga, a former law school lecturer with a track record of pushing for legal reform.

The International Criminal Court has accused four prominent Kenyans, including former Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, of masterminding the violence that killed more than 1 200 people. All have said they are innocent.

Mutunga said the newly appointed judges would lay out plans for an intensive and specific training programme for judges expected to handle election offences and disputes.

Politics in east Africa's biggest economy are largely driven by tribal alliances rather than ideology, or even a government's record of rule, and there are signs that rising ethnic tensions could lead to fresh violence in the March 2013 election.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga told parliament on Wednesday that the National Security and Intelligence Service has informed the government of a likelihood of poll violence next year.

About 30 people were killed in the worst single attack of Kenya's post-election violence when a mob from one tribe set fire to a church in Eldoret, the epicentre of the 2007 violence, killing members of a different tribe.

http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Kenya ... s-20120510
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Sat May 12, 2012 10:22 am

theStar

Uhuru gag case against Star switched to Lenaola

Friday, 11 May 2012 23:48

BY STAR REPORTER

JUSTICE David Majanja yesterday disqualified himself from hearing a case filed by Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta against the Star newspaper. The judge excused himself from hearing the constitutional case where Uhuru claimed the Star linked him to a man who allegedly plotted to kill former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga.

Majanja said he had previously acted for the paper when he was a private lawyer and therefore any decision he made might not be seen as impartial. The case will now be mentioned before Justice Isaac Lenaola on May 15.

Uhuru wants the Star newspaper permanently barred against publishing any words or photos linking him to real estate businessman Joseph Thuo Njoroge who was roughed up by adherents of former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga's Hope International on April 22.

Thuo was among the Uhuru supporters who went to the Hague in September last year for the confirmation of charges hearings at the ICC. Thuo was photographed with Uhuru in photographs submitted to media houses by Uhuru's official photographer. Uhuru also claims the Star stories and photos were "hate speech" and that continued publication was a violation of his rights.

Uhuru said the story portrayed him as “a thug whose exploits are worse than the most vile mafia operative” and as a man who will kill anyone on his way to State House.

He also claimed that the story also implied “that if the petitioner becomes the next President of Kenya he will be the most depraved president the country will ever know."

The Star is seeking to have Uhuru's case dismissed on the grounds that it should be a civil libel case and not a constitutional case; that a constitutional case should be between the state and an individual, and not between two individuals; and that the proper place for such a complaint was the National Cohestion and Integration Committee.

http://www.the-star.co.ke/national/nati ... to-lenaola
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Sat May 12, 2012 2:30 pm

The EastAfrican

Comment

Stop manipulating and bullying the EA court to serve interests of regional elites

By Mary Wandia

Posted Saturday, May 12 2012 at 16:18

=====
Key passage: It is clear that Kenya wants to have its cake and eat it too. On one hand, Kenya and the other partner states would like an EACJ with jurisdiction over international crimes; on the other, they do not want it to have explicit jurisdiction over human rights. This undermines regional integration.
=====
The East African Legislative Assembly passed a resolution on April 26 calling on the ICC to transfer the cases of Kenya’s “Ocampo Four” to the East African Court of Justice (EACJ). This triggered a decision of the EAC Summit of Heads of States, under the chairmanship of President Mwai Kibaki, two days later, to mandate the Council of Ministers to expedite the amendment of the EAC Treaty or the conclusion of the protocol to extend the jurisdiction of the EACJ to cover, among other things, crimes against humanity. The summit further directed the Council of Ministers to consider this matter by end of May 2012 and report to an extraordinary summit to be convened immediately thereafter. The EALA was sitting in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, at a time when Kenya is holding the rotating chairmanship of the EAC.

This is not the first time that Kenya is misusing the EAC and the EACJ specifically. In 2006, in the Prof Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o & others vs. AG of Kenya & 5 Others, Reference No. 1 of 2006 suit that contended that the process of electing the nine persons deemed to be Kenya’s EALA members and the rules of Kenya National Assembly for EALA elections infringed the EAC Treaty, the EACJ ruled that that the National Assembly of Kenya did not undertake or carry out an election within the meaning of of the Treaty. It therefore directed that Kenya start the process afresh to comply with the EAC treaty.

Kenya was so miffed by the ruling that in a record two weeks’ time it had spearheaded an amendment to the EAC Treaty. To undermine the security of tenure of EACJ judges, Kenya proposed the removal of judges on the basis of ‘investigation by a tribunal or other relevant authority of a partner state with a view to his or her removal from an office. Kenya is yet to pay the complainants the cost of that suit as directed by the EACJ.

Moreover, Kenya introduced a clause to limit access to the EACJ by EAC residents by inclusion of a requirement that “any person resident in a partner state may refer a matter for determination by the Court provided that proceedings are instituted within two months of the enactment, publication, directive, decision or action complained of, or in the absence thereof, of the day in which it came to the knowledge of the complainant, as the case may be.” This limitation has been the basis of rejection of many cases by the EACJ, even where the violations are continuous, thereby denying justice to all East African citizens.

This also raises the question: If Kenya sought to ensure that redress for Treaty violations must be sought within two months, what has changed in 2012 that it is now demanding retroactive prosecution of the Ocampo Four given that the EACJ has no jurisdiction over crimes against humanity?

The Treaty amendment process above was challenged in the case East Africa Law Society and 4 others v. Attorney General of Kenya and 3 others, in Reference No 1 of 2007. The EACJ ruled that “failure to carry out consultation outside the Summit, Council and the Secretariat was inconsistent with a principle of the Treaty and therefore constituted an infringement of the Treaty.” Five years later, Kenya is back at it, in spite of that ruling. What will compel Kenya to comply with EACJ rulings on crimes against humanity in future?

The misuse of the EACJ does not stop there. Whenever a matter is filed against it, Kenya’s Attorney General raises preliminary objections on the jurisdiction of the Court to entertain the matter.

Recently, the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU) filed a case against the Kenyan government at the EACJ seeking to hold it accountable for its failure to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute members of the Kenyan security forces responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, and other human-rights violations committed in Mt. Elgon district during the 2006-2008 conflict between Kenyan security forces and the insurgent Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF).

In seeking dismissal, the Attorney General of Kenya relied on the EAC Treaty provision that limits the jurisdiction of the EACJ to interpreting and applying the Treaty and expressly restricts the EACJ from deciding cases related to human-rights until a draft Protocol — not yet completed — extends the Court’s jurisdiction.

It is clear that Kenya wants to have its cake and eat it too. On one hand, Kenya and the other partner states would like an EACJ with jurisdiction over international crimes; on the other, they do not want it to have explicit jurisdiction over human rights. This undermines regional integration.

The EACJ 2007 ruling on the process of amending the Treaty notwithstanding, Kenya is seemingly in support of a strong EACJ. The aim of amending the EAC Treaty this time is substantively to extend its jurisdiction to international crimes so that its elites can avoid accountability for crimes against humanity.

The EAC Treaty provides an elaborate process for Treaty amendments including consultations with the private sector and civil society. This has not happened with regard to the proposed amendments. Does this decision reflect the wishes of the peoples of East Africa in general or the people of Kenya in particular? When did EALA and the Summit consult the peoples in line with the EAC principle of a people-centred and market-driven co-operation? If Kenya is supportive of a strong EACJ, why has it failed to mobilise EAC partner states to support the extension of its jurisdiction to human rights? Debate on a Protocol to achieve this has stagnated since 2004.

Kenya and other EAC partner states cannot choose to pursue regional issues that advance the narrow interests of their elites only to backtrack when some procedures or agreements do not favour them.

Mary Wandia is the regional programme officer at the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA). The views expressed in this article are her own and do not reflect the views of OSIEA.

http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/OpEd/co ... hvapauz/-/
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Sat May 12, 2012 4:54 pm

The Cases That Felled Four Lords Of Impunity:

http://www.nairobilawmonthly.com/module ... =0&id=370&
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Sat May 12, 2012 5:59 pm

Saturday Nation

Politics

Uhuru hate speech suit defective, says newspaper

By PAUL JUMA pjuma@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted Friday, May 11 2012 at 15:13

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta’s court action against The Star for alleged hate speech is incompetent and fatally defective, the newspaper says.

The suit should be struck out and dismissed with costs, The Star told a court Friday.

A hate speech complaint is province of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), yet Mr Kenyatta had not lodged a complaint at the commission, the newspaper argues in a notice of preliminary constitutional question, filed on Thursday.

At the same time, Justice David Majanja disqualified himself saying he had acted for the newspaper. He said that the matter will be mentioned before Justice Isaac Lenaola on May 15 for directions.

Seek remedy

The newspaper wants the court to first determine whether the application is appropriate for the remedies that Mr Kenyatta is seeking.

Mr Kenyatta’s claim is about alleged defamation and an action for defamation can only be taken through a civil suit and not a constitutional petition as done by Mr Kenyatta, The Star states.

Mr Kenyatta sued the Star for publishing an article that allegedly linked him to a plot to have former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga assassinated. His lawyers filed the suit as a Constitutional Petition on Tuesday, alleging that The Star violated his fundamental right and freedom.

But such freedoms set out in the Bill of Rights can be enforced by a constitutional petition only if the action is against the state or state organs, the newspaper states.

“The entire petition is an abuse of the process of the court and is intended to censor the respondent’s freedom of the media,” says The Star.

Mr Kenyatta wants the newspaper ordered to compensate him for alleged gross violation of his fundamental rights.

Morally corrupt

He is also seeking a permanent injunction restraining The Star and its agents from fabricating or publishing any other reports about him in the form of hate speech.

But the newspaper, which is published by Radio Africa Limited, wants the court to determine its preliminary constitutional question first.

The disputed report claimed that Mr Kenyatta was linked to a Mr Thuo, the gunman who caused a commotion at Mr Njenga’s Hope International Church on April 22, the Deputy Premier says.

Mr Kenyatta, who has indicated his interest in the presidency, contends that the article implied that if he became president he would be the most morally corrupt leader the country would ever know.

The news article portrayed him as a thug worse than the vilest mafia operative, he claims.

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/U ... index.html
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Mon May 14, 2012 8:46 am

Sunday Nation

Politics

Why Kibaki won’t cede on ICC cases

By EMEKA-MAYAKA GEKARA gmayaka@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted Saturday, May 12 2012 at 22:19

Two letters by President Kibaki stand as a testament to his single-minded effort to stop the Kenyan cases at the International Criminal Court. Both were frowned upon.

On February 28, 2011, he wrote to the UN Security Council warning that two of the Kenyans suspected to have sponsored the 2007/8 violence are front-runners in the presidential race and their prosecution poses a “real and present danger” to Kenya’s security.

In his petition referencing Article 16 of the Rome Statute, he appealed to the council for a one-year delay of the cases to allow Kenya to organise itself and try the suspects at home. The council was not persuaded.

On March 19, 2011 permanent members US, Britain and France rejected the request saying conditions of the article had not been met.

And in September 2011, the President wrote a letter (witness statement) to the ICC distancing former Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura from a meeting at State House where prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo alleges plans were laid to resort to violence.

The pre-trial judges took the witness statement with more than a pinch of salt. In their decision, the judges said they approached “with reservation” statements by people who were themselves directly mentioned to have participated in the meeting with Mungiki representatives.

They ruled that the meeting was confirmed “to the requisite threshold and in considerable detail”.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Eldoret North MP William Ruto, Mr Muthaura and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang are facing crimes against humanity charges at the ICC.

President Kibaki has knocked on countless doors over the ICC matter. Some people see his unflagging commitment to have the cases tried at home despite unfavorable odds as an attempt to save Mr Kenyatta who is believed to be his favoured successor.

But with the ICC charges hanging over Mr Kenyatta’s head like the sword of Damocles, his presidential ambitions are in the balance.

There is a sense in which the ICC involvement in Kenya has been a nuisance to the Kibaki legacy, an irritation that the President has staked his reputation to address.

President Kibaki will go down in history as the Head of State on whose watch top Kenyans — including the son of Kenya’s founding President — were tried in a foreign land for gross crimes.

Apparently, the save-Uhuru campaign is turning out to be President Kibaki’s last project as he enters the home stretch after his 10 years in office.

And whenever he appears to have hit a dead end, he opens another front even as the new door closes just as fast.

But while some interpret President Kibaki’s spirited campaign as a delicate balancing act to secure his legacy, peaceful retirement and save Jomo’s son, others see it as an act of self-preservation mainly driven by the State House link in the Ocampo narrative.

Although the ICC prosecutor says he has no evidence connecting Mr Kibaki to the violence, some of the President’s supporters have built the case that by the indictment of Mr Muthaura, one of his confidants, the principal State House tenant was the prosecutor’s main target.

Such an argument is certain to harden anyone’s resolve against the proceedings and trigger considerable restlessness.

“The person they want is (President) Kibaki that is why they have touched on our four brothers. We must pray to God that their appeals go through at ICC so that the President can enjoy his retirement peacefully,” said Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka in a February 1, 2012 “prayer” meeting in Meru.

For the past two years, President Kibaki has been adamant in his central push to stop the ICC proceedings.

Mr Herbert Kerre of Kabianga University College reckons that the campaign is about the President’s future after State House — it is a fight for peaceful retirement.

“President Kibaki is very intelligent,” says the lecturer.

“He is not pre-occupied with the present. He is looking beyond his reign. He cannot be confident about the turn of events touching on the ICC proceedings after he retires to Othaya and his influence becomes marginal.

“If truth be told, it is easier to haul him out to the ICC when he is not president. Every passing day towards retirement is a nightmare for him,” says Mr Kerre.

Reacted with anger

State House has always reacted with anger over the allegation that a meeting to plan violent acts took place there.

“No such meetings took place at State House and are indeed the product of the imagination of the so-called anonymous prosecution witness,” it has said.

Recently the special court for Sierra Leone found former Liberian president Samuel Taylor guilty of war crimes, demonstrating that international law is no respecter of rank.

And former Ivorian President Laurent Bgagbo is detained at The Hague ICC over war crimes charges.

The lecturer argues that President Kibaki’s support for Mr Kenyatta could be partly explained by concerns over ICC as well as the fact they share a common view, what he calls “the advancement of the Gema hegemony”.

President Kibaki’s attempts to have the cases handled at home is a long, tedious but spirited journey stretching back to 2009. But has been defined by failure.

The largely unsuccessful campaign has been fought at home and away — in and outside the court—mainly executed as a two-pronged onslaught involving international diplomatic channels and direct engagement with ICC.

The latest is the effort by the Africa Union to expand its court to enable it to take over the ICC cases involving Africans including the Ocampo Four.

AU attorneys-general are currently fine-tuning amendments to expand the jurisdiction of the African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights to deal with international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The AU effort comes barely three weeks after President Kibaki successfully lobbied his peers in East Africa and secured a resolution that the jurisdiction of the regional court be expanded to cover crimes against humanity.

Then the Kenyan cases could be referred to the court. However, the Law Society of Kenya swiftly denounced the move saying the Arusha-based court was not the place for the case.

“Under international law where there is failure by a state to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes or where the state is incapable of doing so, the appropriate forum is the ICC under the Rome Statute or an ad hoc tribunal to be established by the United Nations,” said LSK chairman Eric Mutua.

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/W ... 3n04nlz/-/
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Mon May 14, 2012 8:52 am

Africa Review

4 Kenyan ICC suspects summoned to The Hague in June

By EMEKA-MAYAKA GEKARA in NairobiPosted Sunday, May 13 2012 at 14:20

The trial preparations of the four Kenyans facing charges at the International Criminal Court kicks off in earnest on June 12 when the accused and their lawyers are scheduled to gather at The Hague for a preparatory conference.

A source familiar with the trial preparations told Kenya’s Sunday Nation newspaper from The Hague that trial judges have notified the parties to attend the status conference during which the rules of engagement will be defined including procedural matters and sequence of proceedings.

The status conference lays ground for the trial proper whose date would depend on the issues raised and efficiency of the parties.

During the meeting, the parties will have their first interaction with judges Christine van den Wyngaert (Belgium), Kuniko Ozaki (Japan) and Chile Obeo-Osuji of Nigeria who will preside over the trials.

The court’s decision is likely to dampen the spirits of Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki who is engaged in a last-ditch effort — both at home and abroad — to stop the proceedings at The Hague-based court.

It comes barely two weeks after he indicated to Parliament the government’s determination to set up a local court to try those suspected to have sponsored the 2007/8 post-election violence.

Days later, the President secured a resolution by the East Africa Community for the expansion of the jurisdiction of the East Africa Court of Justice to handle the Kenyan cases.

House-keeping affair

Similar efforts are underway at a gathering of legal experts from the African Union working on a similar resolution.

http://www.africareview.com/News/Kenyan ... /ntd4dt/-/
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Mon May 14, 2012 9:09 am

Ssuubi FM
Kampala 104.9/Masaka 88.1

Hidden Agenda: NRM leaders trying to evade ICC

Written by Ahmed Bogere Masembe | May 14, 2012

The ICC is also in the news at the continental level. In a press release issued on May 7, the African Union (AU) said it had directed its legal committee (on which Uganda sits) to review the Africa-ICC relationship with a view to expanding the jurisdiction of the African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Court) so that the court can have jurisdiction over international crimes.

Uganda’s Role

In both these cases, Uganda is playing a pivotal role in attempts to deny the ICC jurisdiction to prosecute African leaders for serious crimes they commit against their people. In pursuit of this agenda, Uganda has thus adopted a two-pronged approach shown above: expanding the jurisdiction of the East African Court of Justice, and that of the African Court.

Under the first prong, Mr Dan Wandera Ogalo, a Ugandan member of the EALA recently moved a motion seeking the adoption of a resolution demanding a referral of the Ocampo 4 from the ICC to the East African Court of Justice (EACJ). To understand the significance of this move, it’s important to remember that the case against Ocampo 4 has nothing to do with Kenya and Uganda as states. It is premised on the individual criminal accountability by the Ocampo 4.

Kenya and Uganda therefore have no right to appear before the ICC, except as victims, or friends of the court (amicus curiae) – and only after an application to appear as such is granted by the Trial Chamber. That notwithstanding, the EALA proceeded to adopt the Ogalo motion and resolved to have the Kenya cases at the ICC transferred to the EACJ after appropriate amendment of the EACJ statute.

An Exercise in Futility

As an experienced lawyer and a member of the EALA, Mr Ogalo is expected to be conversant with the laws of the East African Community, the court’s statute, and its rules of procedure and evidence. He must also know, or at least is expected to know, that the EACJ only has jurisdiction on matters of interpretation and application of the East African Treaty as provided under Article 27.

The EACJ has no jurisdiction to try international crimes. The EACJ also has no investigative and prosecutorial capacity, it has no standing before the ICC, and it has neither the capacity nor the expertise to entertain international criminal matters.

So why did Mr Ogalo introduce a motion seeking the transfer of the Ocampo 4 from the ICC to the EACJ – a court which has no jurisdiction?

Even if the EACJ statute is amended as outlined in the motion, it may take several years before the court becomes operational, probably long after the trial of Ocampo 4 has begun, or even concluded.

Possible Motive

So why did the EALA support such a reckless move?

In my considered opinion, the answer lies in the motives of Uganda’s rulers. The motive behind the move to amend the court’s jurisdiction is not really to ‘help’ the Ocampo 4, but to protect the National Resistance Movement (NRM) leadership.

Remember, Mr Ogalo, while nominally a member of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), he has often, in the name of bipartisan politics, worked very closely with the NRM leadership. We all know that in Uganda today, for a small fee, Members of Parliament have voted to support the government’s agenda even when it is detrimental to the interests of the general public.

For example, for a fee of 5million Shillings, they amended the constitution to remove term limits for the presidency. They also, including some in the opposition, voted for a supplementary budget on the eve of a general election for a fee of 20million Shillings to ‘facilitate’ their political activities.

I am not suggesting that Mr Ogalo was paid to move the motion in the EALA. What I am saying is that based on what Ugandan politicians have been known to do for money in the past, it remains an open question whether or not Mr Ogalo was paid to move the motion.

The AU Route

In the event that the EALA route fails, Uganda will resort to the African Union route to block the ICC from handling cases from the continent. Under the guise of universal jurisdiction, the AU, spearheaded by Uganda in the legal committee of experts, is determined to evade the long arm of the ICC by establishing an African Court that can be manipulated by national governments through the appointment of judges, control over prosecutorial activities, and by providing a limited budget.

A weak and compliant court is in the best interests of leaders who fear they may be prosecuted at the ICC. The Ugandan leadership has good reasons to fear such prospects. As the evidence unfolds in trials at the ICC, witnesses will disclose the participation of individuals, including those who supported the various militias during the armed conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The recent judgement in the Thomas Lubanga case has forced the leadership of a number of armies that fought in the DRC to re-examine their roles, re-assess or re-evaluate their culpability and determine whether the crimes they committed fall within the temporal jurisdiction of the ICC and if so, what possible defence they can put forward.

With the ongoing trial of Jean Pierre Bemba, there must be some soul searching going on in Uganda. Top NRM international criminal lawyers, including those representing Uganda on the AU’s Legal Committee of Experts, must be following the Bemba trial at The Hague very closely.

To compound Uganda’s anxiety, there is credible evidence suggesting that Bemba’s army (MLC), which allegedly committed crimes in the DRC and later in Central African Republic (CAR) received critical support from the Ugandan leadership and the UPDF in particular.

Prof Filip Reyntjens in his book The Great African Wars: Congo and GeoPolitics, 1996-2006, (Cambridge University Press, 2009) discusses the role played by senior UPDF offices, including the support Uganda extended to Bemba in the Ituri region of DRC. Museveni’s young brother Gen. Salim Saleh was, for example, reported to have had close business and military relationship with Bemba.

Brig (now Lt. General) Kale Kayihura was also the UPDF Commanding Officer in the Ituri region of DRC, the epicentre of international crimes committed by MLC and UPDF at the relevant time. When Kale Kayihura and his troops were captured in Ituri, it was Gen. James Kazini (deceased) with support from Bahema militia who rescued him. During and after the Kayihura rescue, the Bahema militia massacred the Balendu as the UPDF looked the other way.

The Conclusion

It is against this background that the Ogalo motion and Uganda’s objective to extend the jurisdiction of the EACJ must be viewed. Similarly, it is in the same context that Uganda’s role in the AU’s Committee of Legal Expert tasked with creating legal conditions to block the ICC from prosecuting the NRM leadership must be appreciated.

As a Ugandan, I urge the NRM leadership not to fight the ICC in my name and in the name of other Ugandans who support the ICC.

http://ssuubifm.net/kay/2012/05/hidden- ... evade-icc/
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Tue May 15, 2012 9:08 am

Daily Nation

Politics

Ocampo Four to know trial date in June

By OLIVER MATHENGE omathenge@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted Tuesday, May 15 2012 at 12:10

Four Kenyans facing crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court will know when they will stand trial next month.

This is after the ICC Trial Chamber V convened a Status Conference on June 11 for Eldoret North MP William Ruto and Radio presenter Joshua Sang.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former public service boss Francis Muthaura will know the date of their trial on June 12.

Both Status Conferences will begin at 2pm Kenyan time.

In separate decisions made on Monday, judges Kuniko Ozaki, Christine Van den Wyngaert and Chile Eboe-Osuji also asked the respective parties in the case to make written submissions by May 28 on the issues to be discussed at the Status Conference.

“If the parties, the legal representatives of victims and the Registry are currently aware of any other issue that is required to be resolved before the commencement of the trial, they should bring it to the attention of the Chamber promptly,” the Trial Chamber judges said in their decision.

Mr Kenyatta and Mr Muthaura have already asked the judges not to begin the trial proceedings until their appeal on whether they should be tried by the ICC is determined.

The judges said the parties in the case should also make written submissions on their interpretation in law of the modes of individual criminal responsibility applicable to the case by June 25.

They also said that the victims will continue to be provisionally presented by their Pre-Trial Chamber lawyers Sureta Chana and Morris Anyah until a decision is reached on their replacements.

According to the judges, during the Status Conference, the participants will among other things determine the date of the trial, languages to be used in the proceedings, in particular, the languages spoken by the witnesses the parties intend to call and the anticipated length of the presentation of evidence at trial.

The Status Conference will also determine whether the prosecution anticipates issues concerning the protection of witnesses including the disclosure of the identities of witnesses. They will also determine whether a protocol regulating contacts between the parties and protected witnesses called by another party is necessary.

This according to the judges will include; “conditions under which the parties may make reference to the identity of protected witnesses, including the fact that they are witnesses, during their investigation".

The Status Conference will also determine the timing, volume and format of disclosure of evidence, material already disclosed and intended to be disclosed by the prosecution and whether there are any outstanding issues relating to documents or information which the prosecution obtained on the condition of confidentiality.

“The prosecution is requested to provide a detailed list of those items of evidence it intends to include in its List of Incriminating Evidence or disclose to the defence with respect to which redactions or other protective measures are required; including whether redactions previously authorised by the Pre-trial Chamber need to be maintained,” the judges said.

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/O ... index.html
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Tue May 15, 2012 9:18 am

theStar

MPs PLAN TO DISRUPT VISIT BY OCAMPO

Monday, 14 May 2012 23:46 BY WALTER MENYA

ICC Chief Prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo is likely to avoid Kenya in his farewell tour to Africa later this month. By yesterday a Cabinet sub committee had not yet confirmed that Kenya would be willing to host Ocampo and the new prosecutor Fatou Bensouda who are on a joint tour of African countries.

"The government is not keen on his visit and there are MPs who are also planning demonstrations to coincide with the visit," said a cabinet minister who is a member of the sub-committee that handles the ICC.

Yesterday Fisheries minister Amos Kingi, a member of the sub committee, told the Star that he was not aware of the visit because he missed its last meeting. "In any case we are committed as a government to co-operate with ICC. The government made a public declaration on this and has since then not issued a contrary opinion," said Kingi.

Meanwhile the ICC denied yesterday that it had issued summonses for the four Kenyans accused of crimes against humanity to appear at ICC on June 12 for a status conference as reported in the Sunday Nation.

The four are Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, former Civil Service chief Francis Muthaura, Eldoret North MP William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua Sang.

“There were no summonses issued for any of the four accused... and there is no confirmed date for the status conference at this stage,” said ICC spokesman Fadi el Abdallah yesterday. He said in general the accused are not requested to attend status conferences unless ordered by the judges.

According to multiple sources close to the ICC, Ocampo will skip Kenya and instead visit Kampala. However Ocampo and his delegation will meet senior government officials if Kenya confirms that it will host him .

The ICC has been reluctant to release information about Ocampo's Africa leg tour. “Your email has been forwarded to the Office of the Prosecutor. The persons in charge of the Office's media relations will respond to you as soon as (it is) possible for them taking into consideration their busy agenda,” Abdallah responded yesterday.

Ocampo is making a farewell tour of African nations that have cases at The Hague before he leaves office in June. He will be accompanied by the ICC chief prosecutor-designate and current deputy prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Bensouda will officially take over on June 16, 2012 when Ocampo has completed a full term of nine years.

Apart from Kenya, the ICC is dealing with situations in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan, Libya and Côte d’Ivoire.

Activists and some MPs threatened to hold demonstrations over Ocampo's alleged bias when they heard he might be coming. Reports of a possible arrival of Ocampo to the country had started raising temperatures with a group of

“Definitely those who are thinking of demonstrating against Ocampo are not human rights activists. We want a full battle against impunity,” rights activist Ken Wafula told the Star.

He added that civil society groups will mobilise Kenyans to counter any attempt to disrupt the visit by Ocampo. “If someone actually holds a demonstration against the chief prosecutor, we will be expecting arrests because that would become a threat to national security,” Wafula added.

According to Nick Kaufman, a prominent defence counsel at the ICC, the Rome Statute does not oblige accused to attend a pre-trial status conference. “Unless ordered otherwise, one would presume that the accused could waive their right to attend a pre-trial status conference in the same way that they could have waived their right to attend the confirmation hearings,” he said.

Matters on the agenda at a pre-trial status conference could include the language to be used at trial, agreements on evidence, the prosecution's disclosure of incriminating and exculpatory evidence, the defence's notification of special pleas and alibis, and the fixing of deadlines for requesting the protection of witnesses.

Kaufman anticipated that the most contentious issue would be setting the date for the hearing of evidence at trial. “To date there has been only one other case in which charges have been confirmed against suspects at liberty and that was in the Darfur situation. In that case, counsel for the two accused announced that they had waived their right to appear at the first status conference post-confirmation,” Kaufman said.

http://www.the-star.co.ke/national/nati ... -by-ocampo
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Tue May 15, 2012 5:41 pm

Standard Digital

ICC sets agenda for meeting Ocampo four

Published Wednesday, May 16 2012 at 00:00
By Wahome Thuku

The International Criminal Court has released the agenda for the June 12 meeting between the Trial Chamber of the court and four Kenyan suspects of the 2008 post-election violence.

Top on the agenda of the 1pm status conference at The Hague will be to set the trial date for the suspects. That day could most certainly be this year unless the court is convinced on reasonable judicial grounds to push it to next year.

The four suspects may, under the law, opt not to attend the status conference and send their advocates. But under Article 63(1) of the Rome Statute, they must be present from the first to the last day of the trial itself.

Though the Trial Chamber will have the leeway to order that status quo remains as set by the Pre-Trial Chamber last year, fears have abounded that the Trial judges could cut short the freedom of the four Kenyan suspects and order that they be detained at The Hague, Netherlands till the end of trial.

set languages

None of the suspects on trial at the ICC since 2002 has attended the proceedings from home, they have all been held at the court’s custody.

Allowing the four Kenyans to be free throughout the trial would be a precedent.

The conference shall also set among others the languages to be used during the trial by witnesses and any victims to be called.

The parties will agree on the number and calibre of witnesses to call, the documents already exchanged and the evidence that would be released to the accused.

The court has already ruled that the trial will proceed even as the Appeal Chamber prepares to deliver a ruling on appeals filed by the suspects challenging the authority of the ICC to try them.

The question of postponing the trial will most certainly come up as the parties will be setting the trial dates. And the court has opened the way for them to raise any issues not in the agenda.

“Should the parties wish to add other items to the agenda of the status conference they should indicate it in their written submissions,” the Trial Chamber judges said.

ICC spokesman Fadi Abdalah has said the Trial Chamber would only consider well founded legal reasons to adjourn the proceedings.

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000058247
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby Terminator » Tue May 15, 2012 6:21 pm

I couldn't think of a better place for this story. How about the EA lawyers telling the politicians the savagely obvious.

The East African Law Society has cautioned regional leaders against moving the trials of the Ocampo Four from The Hague.

In a statement issued at its head office in Arusha on Wednesday, the regional bar association said the East African court had neither the capacity nor the expertise or jurisdiction to handle the cases.

The East African Legislative Assembly recently requested the transfer of proceedings from the International Criminal Court to the East African Court of Justice.

Confirmation of charges


The four face charges of having the greatest responsibility for the violence that broke out after the 2007 presidential election.

The statement added: “Neither does the Rome Statute provide an avenue for states or inter-governmental organisations to request relocation of cases after the confirmation of charges.

The society’s communication officer, Mr Daniel Birungi, said if the East African Community partner states insisted on relocating the cases to the regional court, “they must ensure a total review and restructuring of the court”.

The four Kenyans are Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, Eldoret North MP William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang.

During its recent sessions in Nairobi, Eala urged the EAC Council of Ministers to request the transfer of the cases. (READ: ICC trials can’t be transferred, rights activists tell Kibaki)

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/E ... index.html
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Tue May 15, 2012 6:27 pm

Termie,

Thanks! I missed that article you just posted here. Its message is very encouraging.
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Wed May 16, 2012 7:34 am

theStar

The church and ICC politics

Friday, 11 May 2012 23:47

BY DAVID KIMWELE

Many people are quite surprised when the church voices its opinion or makes known its stand on hot potato political issues. But as the salt and the light of the world, the church sometimes has to make strong judgments about what is false, unjust, and evil in the society and this inevitably means making forays into politics where deeply consequential value and moral judgements are made in a democratic society. The dilemma however for the church which has to contend with the pervasive error of privatized faith which is privately engaging and publicly irrelevant is the opposite error of politicized faith through which Christians become “useful idiots” for one political party or another and Christian beliefs are used as weapons for political interests.

A couple of weeks ago, the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) conclave issued a communiqué which touched on all major issues affecting our nation today but one couldn’t help but notice that the communiqué conspicuously failed to address the contentious ICC issue which is arguably the foremost issue affecting our nation at this point in time. Personally, I think it is a shame that the PCEA conclave chose to bury its head in the sand on this matter. By failing to take a stand on the thorny issue, it missed a great opportunity to be the salt of the earth. Instead of letting its light so shine on this grave issue, the conclave hid its light under a bushel.

But just as I was coming to terms with the PCEA’s error of privatized faith, the Episcopal conference issued its shocker communiqué last week defending the rights of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto to vie the presidency despite the fact that the pair is indicted on several counts of crimes against humanity at the ICC. To be sure, the pair is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty but whether or not people indicted with crimes against humanity should vie for the presidency is a debate which calls for making moral judgments the constitutionality of the issue aside. It is a political discourse that all citizens of goodwill and believers of all faiths and none are engaged in.

The Episcopal conference has made known its stand on the issue. Needless to say, their stand has caused consternation among the general public. It is not that the clergy should not make forays into matters politics, no. the freedom of conscience and speech guarantees them the right to express their opinion. Suffice it to say, the vast majority of Kenyans are of a contrary opinion which for all intents and purposes is underpinned by a moral standard that is superior to that which was applied by the Episcopal conference. This is quite puzzling given that the clergy who are considered the custodians of moral values are expected to champion the highest possible moral standards.

At the risk of pontificating, I dare say this appears to be a classic case of the salt of the earth having lost its flavour. Jesus Christ told his disciples that they were to be the salt of the earth. Just as salt renders food pleasant and palatable and preserves from putrefaction his disciples were to be blessing and a force for good in the earth and by their lives and instructions were to keep the world from moral corruption. He further warned them to guard themselves against losing their flavour because if they did, they would be good for nothing and they would be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. (Matthew 5: 13)

The Episcope’s convenient application of a lower moral standard on the issue of ICC suspects vying for the presidency is suspect but I will not speculate the reasons and motivation behind it. Like everyone else however, I think the Episcopal conference was wrong but in a democracy we must respect the right to be wrong because everyone is entitled to their opinion even though that does not mean that any opinion anyone holds is right and as such every opinion in the public square regardless of who its holder is, is subject to a debate conducted with respect.

In view of the foregoing, there is a need to stand clear from the widely held perception that clergy clubs speak for the church. The church in Kenya as we know it has no supreme leader or official spokesperson, so no one speaks for the church, least of all those who claim to. The various church councils, conferences, associations and conclaves do have a constituency of believers but they do not speak for the church as is often thought but rather they speak only for themselves. They point direction for their respective flock and the society but their standpoint is neither binding on the flock nor is it representative of the church. The 2010 referendum on the constitution is a case in point.

Finally, the church and the clergy in particular must seriously rethink its place in public life. The credibility of the church as we know it has never been so severely dented. In other parts of the world, the church has made a shining contribution to politics in general, to many of the greatest moral and social reforms in history such as the abolition of slavery and woman’s suffrage, and even to notions crucial in political discussions today. The church it seems must literary recapture the lost moral high ground.

http://www.the-star.co.ke/weekend/siasa ... -politics-
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Wed May 16, 2012 12:15 pm

The Guardian

War criminal Charles Taylor appeals for 'reconciliation not retribution

'Ex-Liberian president shows no contrition or remorse as he addresses judges at Hague sentencing hearing

Associated Press
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 16 May 2012 07.35 EDT

The convicted war criminal and former Liberian president Charles Taylor has told judges at his sentencing hearing he sympathises with victims of the civil war in Sierra Leone he helped foment, and urged them to decide their sentence against him in a spirit of "reconciliation, not retribution".

However, he stopped short of admitting any wrongdoing, apologising for his actions, or expressing remorse.

In a landmark ruling in April, judges at the special court for Sierra Leone found Taylor guilty of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, and conscripting child soldiers. Judges at the UN-backed court said his aid was essential in in helping rebels across the border in Sierra Leone continue their rampage during the west African nation's decade-long civil war, which ended in 2002 with more than 50,000 dead.

The conviction was the first of a former head of state since the aftermath of the second world war.

Taylor is due to be sentenced on May 30, with prosecutors demanding an 80-year prison term; defence lawyers are planning an appeal and arguing he should be given a sentence that leaves him some hope for life after release.

"I express my sadness and sympathy for crimes suffered by individuals and families in Sierra Leone," Taylor said. He said he had acted in an attempt to help stabilise the region, and claimed he had never knowingly assisted in the commission of crimes.

"What I did … was done with honour," he said. "I was convinced that unless there was peace in Sierra Leone, Liberia would not be able to move forward."

Judges found Taylor had helped the rebels obtain weapons, knowing they would probably be used to commit terrible crimes, in exchange for payments of "blood diamonds", often obtained by slave labour.

Prosecutors said there was no reason for leniency, given the extreme nature of the crimes and Taylor's position of power.

"The purposely cruel and savage crimes committed included public executions and amputations of civilians, the display of decapitated heads at checkpoints, the killing and public disembowelment of a civilian whose intestines were then stretched across the road to make a checkpoint, public rapes of women and girls, and people burned alive in their homes," said prosecutor Brenda Hollis before the hearing.

Defence lawyer Courtenay Griffiths argued for a sentence reflecting Taylor's indirect role: he was found guilty only of aiding the rebels, not leading them as prosecutors originally charged.

He said Taylor's conviction has been "trumpeted … as sending an unequivocal message to world leaders that holding office confers no immunity" from war crimes prosecution. But the reality was that while many western countries had funded militias that committed atrocities, no western leader had ever been indicted by a war crimes tribunal, he said.

Griffiths said the lesson was: "If you are a small, weak nation, you may be subject to the full force of international law, whereas if you run a powerful nation you have nothing to fear."

Griffiths also said the 80-year sentencing demand was "manifestly disproportionate and excessive" for Taylor, who is 64.

In court, Hollis scoffed at that.

She said Taylor's involvement in the crimes was "more pervasive than that of the most senior leaders" of the Sierra Leone rebels, who have already been sentenced. The longest sentence so far, 52 years, was handed down to rebel leader Issa Sesay, who testified on Taylor's behalf in 2010.

Taylor fled into exile in Nigeria after being indicted by the court in 2003, and remained at liberty for three years. While the Sierra Leone court is formally based in that country's capital, Taylor's trial is being staged in Leidschendam, a suburb of The Hague, in the Netherlands, for fear holding it in west Africa could destabilise the region.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/ma ... sfeed=true
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Thu May 17, 2012 9:07 am

Chicago Tribune
News

ICC prosecutor OK with delay to trial of Kenyans

Michelle Nichols

Reuters

4:10 p.m. CDT, May 16, 2012

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor said on Wednesday he would not oppose a delay to the start of a trial of four prominent Kenyans, including two leading presidential hopefuls, accused of fuelling post-election violence in 2007.

The group, including former Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former Higher Education Minister William Ruto, are charged with masterminding the bloodshed that killed more than 1,200 people. All have said they are innocent.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told a news conference in New York that the defendants had requested the delay until the ICC decided whether to grant their appeal, which argues that the war crimes court has no jurisdiction to prosecute them.

Moreno-Ocampo said that his office "did not oppose the right to postpone the beginning of the trial until the appeal chamber solved the claim presented by the defendants."

No specific date had been set for the trial. The ICC will decide whether to grant the request to delay the trial.

Kenyatta and Ruto, who are charged with directing mobs to commit violence that sent Kenya to the brink of civil war, are both challenging for the country's presidency in elections due by March 2013 - the first since the 2007 polls.

An ICC trial was the biggest threat for a repeat of unrest at the 2013 vote, Kenya's electoral head said last month. There is concern that, if the men stand trial and are blocked from running for office, it may trigger violence.

Past opinion polls have shown strong public support for the ICC cases and many Kenyans feel their own judicial system lacks the will to tackle a culture of impunity, where the powerful are often seen as above the law.

"We take note in Kenya that many citizens are requesting that the court proceed with the trial as soon as possible in order to define the responsibility of the suspects before the elections which are planned for March 13," Moreno-Ocampo said.

But he warned Kenyans that it was not the job of the ICC to determine who could stand for election.

"The court should not define who are the candidates in Kenya to the next elections or who will win the next election," Moreno-Ocampo said. "The Kenya political situation should be dealt with politically, by political actors. They cannot expect the court to define the political situation in Kenya."

The other men charged with Kenyatta and Ruto are radio presenter Joshua arap Sang and the head of the civil service, Francis Muthaura.

(Editing by Eric Beech)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns- ... 7958.story
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby Terminator » Thu May 17, 2012 11:10 am

It is true that Ocampo has supported the postponement of the trials until the appeal is determined. This was one area where he was in agreement with the defense. It is also one area where he lost.

The message I am getting is that if perpetrators of major crimes are tried, there will be violence. I don't doubt it. Given the strong public support for the cases, the logical question would then be why? Who would be instigating the said violence? Perhaps the IEBC head can be more useful by identifying potential causes of the violence. Otherwise he lends credence to the notion that certain people should enjoy impunity for peace to prevail.
ICC.supporter wrote:An ICC trial was the biggest threat for a repeat of unrest at the 2013 vote, Kenya's electoral head said last month. There is concern that, if the men stand trial and are blocked from running for office, it may trigger violence.

Past opinion polls have shown strong public support for the ICC cases and many Kenyans feel their own judicial system lacks the will to tackle a culture of impunity, where the powerful are often seen as above the law.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns- ... 7958.story
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Re: Helping Post-Election Violence Victims: Write to Ocampo

Postby ICC.supporter » Thu May 17, 2012 3:20 pm

I have never believed that prosecuting the Ocampo 4 will lead to violence. This is a tactic that those who oppose the trial want to use to scare off the ICC. Even if there is violence, it would be the type that the government could easily put down (unless it did not want to for its own political purposes). I don't see the widespread support for violence on this issue. People were glued to the confirmation hearings, and the message I got was that they were impressed with Ekaterina and her two colleagues.

The Ocampo 4 just want to use anything they can grab to put off or, better still, to have the trial knocked off for good. I pray this doesn't happen.
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