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Archive for the tag “Joshua Arap Sang”

ICC: Lessons learned from the Kenyatta Case of 2011

The Internal Investigation of the botched International Criminal Court (ICC) case of the ‘Kenyatta Case – The Prosecutor v. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta – FORMERLY – The Prosecutor v. Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Mohammed Hussein Ali, ICC-01/09-02/11’, which the investigation started in Kenya in October 2010 and failure to produce anything binding or to justify the charges against them. So the charges was dropped by 2013 and 2014. While the whole case was terminated by March 2015.

Now the ICC has suddenly dropped an statement into their internal investigation into why it ended like this. Even if they have the warning, of if any of the judges get new evidence on the case. They might re-open it. However, what this states is very serious and the acts done to interfere in the investigation. Says also a lot, also about the shortfall of the jurisdiction and help from the government of Kenya. Which isn’t weird, as the state was investigating the President and allies of him. They don’t want any issues with an foreign court. That is all natural in the scheme of things.

Just look here:

The prosecutorial process in the Kenya cases, the experts found, was hampered by deadlines set by the first Prosecutor that were based on considerations other than what they considered to be sound prosecutorial practice. In their view, the effectiveness of the investigations and prosecutions was significantly undermined by a “decision over assessment” tactic respecting cases and a target-based – as opposed to evidence-based – approach to investigation and charging. This, coupled with other problems, meant that the prosecutions were burdened with weak cases, relying on one or only a small number of insider witnesses – whose evidence could not be independently verified by the OTP – to establish essential elements of the case” (ICC, 26.11.2019).

The key point concerning the Government of Kenya was the OTP’s delay in seeking the assistance of the Trial Chamber to compel cooperation, resulting in part from the contradictory approaches advocated by JCCD and PD (that is, continue to try to persuade the authorities to cooperate versus applying to the Trial Chamber for a finding of non-cooperation against the Government, respectively). This lesson has been taken on board. The OTP also has a range of strategies to secure cooperation from States Parties and situation countries, and these are still evolving” (ICC, 26.11.2019).

The investigations were further undermined by the decision to delay in-country investigations, which did not take place until after the CoC hearings. Unfortunately, after those hearings, investigating in Kenya became much more difficult: support for the ICC among Kenyans had been eroded by a concerted campaign of negative propaganda; OTP personnel were followed, putting them and anyone they contacted at risk; the witness interference orchestrated by the suspects/accused became even more pervasive; and the Government of Kenya (GoK) became even less willing to co-operate, if not actively interfering with OTP operations and witness security” (ICC, 26.11.2019).

As noted above, the GoK did not support the OTP investigative activities, instead it either allowed interference with witnesses inside and outside of Kenya and with OTP activities in Kenya, including surveillance of OTP investigators, and/or may have been directly involved in such interference. It refused Requests for Assistance (RFAs) thereby hampering the OTP’s ability to access potential evidence, or imposed such conditions or access as to, in reality, make that access so cumbersome as to be unworkable” (ICC, 26.11.2019).

We can see the ICC started this out on the wrong premise and lost because of it. They couldn’t present well enough evidence, either because of the deadlines. Nor the way the small pockets of witnesses was silenced. This was done, as the ICC haven’t secured them or ensured their safety. This was a mismanaged approach by the ICC and the ones seeking justice on this case. The Kenyatta case was finally dropped, because the ICC and their partners hadn’t done their job, neitehr had the Government of Kenya done its either. Therefore, this one got stalled and the charges got dropped.

Like the charges against William Ruto, Joshua Arap Sang and Uhuru Kenyatta. This was done because out of the 10 witnesses supposed to be put forward, only 5 showed up. That means the prosecution and the material they could assess wasn’t substantial enough nor digging deep enough. The ICC didn’t do their work and the Kenyans was doing internal actions to ensure the ICC didn’t get a case to begin with. They silenced the witnesses and intimidated the ones who could have come forward to the ICC.

This should be a lesson for the ICC. That to quick deadlines, not enough work with the coordinated leadership of where they charging people and get the proper jurisdiction might be more important. As they couldn’t do their job, as the Kenyans was putting hampers in their way. Next time find out ways to secure the witnesses and the affidavits to collect evidence before they are afraid of testifying. Peace.

Advocacy Brief on Kenya: 15th Session of the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 16-24 November, 2016 (21.11.2016)

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Background

At the height of the violence that gripped Kenya after the disputed 2007 elections, the Party of the National Unity and the Orange Democratic Movement, who were parties to the conflict, wrote to the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking its intervention to stop what they called genocide. A local investigatory commission with international participation found that some actions during the post-election violence likely met the threshold of crimes against humanity and recommended the establishment of a Special Tribunal for Kenya, or in the alternative, the handover of the sealed evidence to the Prosecutor at the ICC.

Efforts to establish the Tribunal were defeated by political forces aligned to suspected perpetrators, hence triggering the handover of evidence to the ICC and the subsequent investigation. Six Kenyans were named in connection with seven crimes against humanity charges; the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II confirmed charges against four suspects. Two suspects – Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto were subsequently elected President and Deputy President, respectively, before their trials could begin at the ICC. Thereafter, the Prosecutor withdrew charges against two suspects – Francis Muthaura and Kenyatta – citing witness bribery and intimidation, as well as failure by the Kenya government to cooperate with the court. The remaining case against Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang was terminated citing “intolerable levels of witness interference and political meddling”.

Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ) has followed closely the developments around accountability for the crimes committed during the 2007 post-election violence. Since the opening of the investigations in March 2010, we have observed certain shortcomings and challenges on the part of the Government of Kenya, the ICC, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) and the African Union (AU). This brief seeks to focus on key issues emerging from the situation that the ICC and international justice finds itself in today, while drawing linkages from how the Kenya cases and other ICC cases were managed. KPTJ also makes recommendations on actions that require to be undertaken by the ASP, the ICC and African governments in order to address the emergent challenges.

  1. Engage and Withdraw Simultaneously?

A Contradiction in the Mandate of the AU Open Ended Committee

  1. The 27th ordinary session of the African Union’s assembly in July 2016 issued a decision on the ICC[1] pursuant to a similar one from the previous session[2]. Besides praising the court’s termination of the case against Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto, the AU outlined a five-point agenda for the Open-Ended Committee of Foreign Ministers on the ICC, which included the following:
  • Engaging with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) before the January 2017 AU Summit and before the 15th Assembly of State Parties in November 2016.
  • Maintaining the earlier decision from January 2016, to develop a comprehensive strategy to inform the actions of AU member states that are party to the Rome Statute; a strategy that includes collective withdrawal from the ICC.
  • Concluding a review of the ICC’s interpretation of Article 93 of the Rome Statute regarding the compulsion of unwilling witnesses to testify, with a view to inform debate at the 15th
  • Conveying the message that AU member states object to the inclusion of language requiring the UNSC to mandate UN peace-keeping missions to enforce arrest warrants in Africa.
  • Utilising the AU Mission in Brussels, Belgium, as the secretariat to the Open-ended Ministerial Committee and provision of institutional support to the African Group in The Hague, Netherlands, to ensure effective coordination of its activities.
  1. The AU has since held a meeting with the UNSC in September 2016 to present pre-formulated terms developed by the Open-ended Ministerial Committee as conditions to keep African States as parties to the Rome Statute. These conditions were as follows[3]:
  • Immunity under the ICC’s Rome Statute for sitting heads of state and government as well as senior officials;
  • Intervention of the ICC in cases involving African states only after those cases have been submitted to the AU or AU judicial institutions; and
  • Reduction in the powers of the ICC Prosecutor.
  1. Recent developments have seen South Africa, Burundi and The Gambia commence processes to withdraw from the ICC; seemingly as part of actualising the intention cited in the agenda of the Open-ended Ministerial Committee. These actions expose the agenda by the AU to be disingenuous and presupposes that the deliberations within the ASP would be futile.. The wave of withdrawals occurs against a counter-wave of support for the Court by countries including Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana[4]; an indication that the strategy for mass withdrawal does not enjoy the consensus suggested by the AU decision of July 2016. These countries have suggested that concerns expressed by African states are not insurmountable and can be addressed within the framework of the ASP. Their support for the ICC underscores the fact that the obligations under the Rome Statute are State obligations and not AU obligations; as such, decisions on withdrawal will be based on national interest that cannot be assumed by the AU.
  1. Furthermore, the strategy for AU member states to withdraw undermines the other outlined agenda items of engagement with the ASP, such as the review of the interpretation of Article 93 of the Rome Statute and the enforcement of arrest warrants. Such contradictory actions raise the question of whether the AU is negotiating ICC reforms in good faith.
  1. In light of the foregoing, KPTJ recommends that:
  • African States abandon and disregard calls for mass withdrawal from the Court and instead consolidate the member bloc to advance their concerns within the bounds of the ASP in deliberations based on good faith.
  • African states should continue to publicly reaffirm their support for engaging with the ICC through the ASP and prevail on the AU to adjust its engagement strategy accordingly. We applaud the statements made by Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana.
  • An ICC Liaison Office should be established at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa to facilitate more productive and sustained communication between African States and the ICC as part of restoring a relationship that has become plagued by mistrust and misunderstandings.
  1. Absence of Accountability?

Peace, Security and Stability

  1. The characterisation of the ICC as undermining the peace and security of states or threatening their stability has become a recurring theme by those advocating disengagement or withdrawal from the ICC. In its notice of withdrawal, South Africa claims that its aspirations for the peaceful resolution of conflicts were being hindered by its obligations under the Rome Statute[5] to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir when he attended the June 2015 AU Summit in Johannesburg. Kenyan government officials have also previously described the cases against Kenyatta and Ruto as an existential threat to peace and stability.
  2. A closer scrutiny of this assertion in the face of ongoing conflict situations suggests the contrary. The absence of accountability processes does not necessarily facilitate peaceful resolution of conflicts; the South Sudan and Burundi conflicts instead point to protagonists willing to escalate violence, even in the context of peace negotiations. Burundi and The Gambia have commenced processes to withdraw from the ICC at a time when their respective governments stand accused of acts of repression and mass human rights violations. Rather than advance the cause for peace, the clamour for withdrawal from the ICC is playing into the hands of those wary of the prospects of accountability in the aftermath of conflict. Even more concerning is an apparent trend of rising post-election violence, such as that witnessed in Kenya previously and in Gabon currently, or violence stemming from efforts to instal third-term incumbencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi. Such trends are bound to persist in the absence of mechanisms for accountability, of which the ICC is a critical component.
  3. The assertion that the African Court of Justice and Human Rights (African Court) and its proposed expanded criminal jurisdiction through the Malabo Protocol would fill in any void created by a mass withdrawal from the ICC is erroneous. The African Court is a distant prospect for addressing the impunity gap: it is far from being operational. Since 2013, only five states namely Benin, Kenya, Congo, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania have signed but not ratified the Malabo Protocol, which requires the ratification of 15 states to begin operations. Kenya is the only state thus far that has made a financial pledge of USD 1 million to operationalise the court — a far cry from the resources required for a court of broad jurisdiction consisting of a mandate on human rights as well as international law and interstate disputes. It has previously been estimated that a singular international criminal trial costs USD 20 million to undertake. In addition, the protocol contains contentious provisions that undermine its viability as an alternative platform for international crimes, the most notable being the clause of immunity for sitting heads of state and senior government officials. As a testament to the inability of the African Court to be an immediate replacement of the ICC as desired by some, even South Africa through its Justice Minister has indicated that it will ask for a review of the Malabo Protocol to address contentious issues. Furthermore, limited progress has been made towards establishing national mechanisms that can sufficiently undertake the obligation of accountability for international crimes.
  4. KPTJ recognises the pursuit of justice in conflict and post-conflict settings as an essential pillar of rebuilding democracies and restoring rule of law. These are the pathways to lasting peace, security and stability. Rather than push to void international justice mechanisms after the conflict to facilitate mediation, we recommend that:
  • African states fully implement and consistently apply already established norms on democracy, peace and security as a preventative measure to conflict including: the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights; the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and; the African Governance Architecture.
  • African states must critically reflect on and address the issues of the African Court’s capacity, accessibility, legal standards outlined for crimes under international law and expunge provisions conferring immunity on sitting Heads of State and senior government officials. This process must not be rushed or predicated on a manufactured crisis precipitated by a strategy of mass withdrawal from the ICC.
  • African states should establish robust and credible national mechanisms to address the accountability question at first instance and in complementarity with regional and international mechanisms. They must also broaden their policy considerations to include comprehensive reparation programmes for victims of international crimes.
  • Disparity between State Obligations and Reality?

A look at State Cooperation

  1. The Kenya and Sudan cases have exposed the frailties within the Rome Statute framework in as far as state cooperation is concerned. These cases have laid waste to the presumption that States will willingly engage with the court in the face of cases seeking to prosecute sitting heads of state, their deputies or powerful elites in close proximity to power. State cooperation has only demonstrably worked in instances where the target for prosecution is a vanquished foe of conflict as seen in the cases of Uganda and Cote d’Ivoire, that are fast advancing a notion of “victor’s justice”. This challenge is further compounded by the fact that the final recourse for addressing the lack of state cooperation rests with the ASP. The ASP being a political organ of the Rome Statute is influenced by political rather than purely legal considerations in making its decisions, which makes the issue of resolving the non-cooperation of states problematic. A final challenge to state cooperation is the failure of the United States, China and Russia to ratify the Rome Statute while also being members of the UNSC with the power of referral of matters to the court. This has created the notion of double standards within the international justice system and emboldened other states to disregard cooperation with the court.
  2. KPTJ calls on the members of the UNSC who have not ratified the Rome Statute to display leadership on State cooperation with the court by first ratifying the Statute and utilising its discretion on referral and deferral in a manner that adheres to the objectives of the Statute. We further wish to reiterate that state cooperation must denote effective cooperation that facilitates the mandates of the respective organs of the court and not feigned cooperation which creates the perception of facilitating the court but in fact consists of using procedural and technical obstacles to undermine the court. We call on the ASP to adopt a consistent and objective legal standard in the assessment of state cooperation.
  3. Are there lessons to be learned?

Taking stock of the experience in the Kenya cases

  1. The Kenya cases and the manner of their termination carry critical lessons for consideration to inform future actions by the court and the content of reforms within the strategic plans of its respective organs. The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) as well as the bench on various occasions decried the instances of witness tampering and intimidation as well as non-cooperation by the state in responding to the OTP requests for information and a failure to execute ICC warrants of arrest with respect to three Kenyans suspected of witness tampering. This in fact has led to a finding of non-compliance against Kenya and led to its referral to the ASP under article 87(7) of the Rome Statute. In the midst of all this, was an unprecedented and disruptive diplomatic effort that deliberately exerted political pressure on the court with a view to influencing the outcome of the Kenya cases. It is arguable that these diplomacy efforts yielded the concession of excusing President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto from continuous presence at their trial and that the current wave of withdrawals from the ICC on the basis of an apparent bias by the court against Africans are a fallout from these diplomatic efforts. The capitulations of the cases have also pointed to significant flaws in the investigative and prosecutorial approaches that informed the development of the cases and must lead to some introspection from the relevant mechanisms. The fact that the Trust Fund for Victims is yet to commence operations in Kenya cannot go without mention.
  2. KPTJ urges all the organs of the court to reflect on these experiences and take due cognisance of the following lessons and recommendations:
  • The ICC, particularly the ASP, should do more to ensure that it does not allow political statements to interfere with the judicial independence of the Court.
  • The ICC should ensure that it takes steps to respond to messages of a political nature and correct inaccurate statements in a timely manner. In addition, it should ensure that such key messages reach the right audiences, including victims and affected communities.
  • The Court should continue to build its relationship with African States that openly support the mandate of the ICC; in addition, the ICC should do more to improve its relationship with, and image at, the AU.
  • The Trust Fund for Victims should commence operations in Kenya, as victims have received little to no assistance from the Kenyan government.
  • The Prosecutor should carefully consider when to request ‘summons to appear’ as opposed to ‘warrants of arrest’ and take into account the individual circumstances of each accused person in doing so, particularly their potential to intimidate witnesses and interfere with evidence.
  • Swift action should be taken by the Prosecutor and the Court in instances of non-cooperation by States Parties. Any instances of non-cooperation should be resolved as speedily as possible, in such a manner that the outcome of proceedings on non-cooperation can be applied to strengthen an ongoing case and not be delayed to the point that the outcome is only of academic significance.
  • The Prosecutor should continue to carry out a review of its investigative strategies and methods in order to improve its chances of success at trial.
  • The Prosecution should ensure that its staff are able to spend as much time as possible on better understanding the context and nuances of a given situation country.
  1. Pursuit of reform without prejudice?

UN Reform vs ICC Reform

  1. The unique role played by UNSC in referral and deferral of cases before the ICC means that the debates on reforming the court and reforming the UN and in particular the UNSC have inevitably intersected. We have witnessed both undertones and overt accusations of imperialism and undue influence directed at the court on account of cases on Africa referred to it by the UNSC (Libya and Sudan). Arguments made to amend the Rome Statute to confer immunity for sitting heads of state and senior government officials are laced with grievance against the UNSC permanent five members possessing a de facto immunity from prosecution under the ICC on account of their veto power. The end result is a misdirected effort to amend the Rome Statute or in the extreme withdraw from the ICC on the basis of perceived excesses that are better addressed by engaging the broader debate of UN reforms.
  1. While KPTJ acknowledges the slanted relationship of the UNSC with the court and supports a robust conversation on its reforms, we call on states not to misdirect the agenda of reforming the UNSC into discussions on improving the functions of the court and occasion amendments to the Rome statute that sacrifice the future of the court as part of a bargaining process on UNSC reforms. We call on African states in particular, to distinguish the broader question of UN reforms as enshrined in the “Ezulwini Consensus” from the question of reforming the Rome Statute and reflecting on the performance of the court. We call upon African member states to the Rome Statute not to sacrifice the promise of justice for victims of atrocity crimes at the altar of grievance against the unequal power relations represented by the UN Security Council.

end/kptj/16.06.2016

——–

About KPTJ:

This brief was prepared by Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ), a coalition of Kenyan citizens and over 30 organisations working in the human rights, governance and legal fields that came together during the crisis over the disputed results of the 2007 presidential election to seek truth and accountability for the elections and the widespread violence that followed; and who continue to work closely with the victims of that period. It is a brief update on the situation in Kenya as pertains to pursuing accountability for the crimes against humanity committed during the 2007-2008 Post-Election Violence as well as its adherence to its obligations under the Rome Statute.

[1] Assembly/AU/Dec.616 (XXVII)

[2] Assembly/AU/Dec.590(XXVI)

[3] Press Release: “UN/African Union: Reject ICC withdrawal”. Available here: http://www.khrc.or.ke/2015-03-04-10-37-01/press-releases/552-un-african-union-reject-icc-withdrawal.html

[4] Article: “Which African states slammed Burundi, South Africa and Gambia’s withdrawal from ICC?” Available here: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/which-african-states-slammed-burundi-south-africa-gambias-withdrawal-icc-1589711

[5] https://www.justsecurity.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/South-Africa-Instrument-of-Withdrawal-International-Criminal-Court.jpg

Opinion: My 2 Cents on why the African Nations leave the ICC or want to!

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“A founding signatory of the Rome Statute, on ICC: Yes we should be out of the ICC. ICC is not serious. It is partisan. There are so many people who should have been tried if they were serious. The way to go is to have our own African Criminal Court. Trying to work with ICC was a mistake” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni [at the Second #UGDebate on the 13th February 2016]

As Washington is shocked by the recent events, that the International Criminal Court which is stationed in The Hague and the Netherlands; where they ironically are closing down prisons because of lacks of criminals. The International Community and the African Nations are triggering the Article 127 of the Rome Statute of 1997 to Withdraw from the honourable justice chambers of this so-called earth. There is certain reflections and vivid reasons for why this is happing. And I will try to sort it out, the Westerns and Europeans, even some Americans might be offend, but still carry it and take it for what it is.

“In June 2009, Comoros, Djibouti, and Senegal called on African States Parties to withdraw en mass from the Statute in protest against allegations that the ICC was targeting Africans. This declaration was specifically in reference to Sudanese Pres. Omar al-Bashir’s indictment” (Mbaku, Weber State University).

The ICC is not a pre-historic relic of the European Colonial past, still the actions of is of a seemingly imperialistic affair where the smaller newer nations and less resourceful have been targeted at much higher extent than the ones of more sophisticated countries who are not former colonialized. That is a fact and not NRM fiction. Just a certainty that the further hurt the African sovereign nations that they even has Executives under the microscope for their actions while Tony Blair and George W. Bush walks around like Kings on this earth. It’s not like the powers to be, touches the big-men from there, but around the corner they get taken away quicker than ice-cream on a hot-summer-day.

Not that the men and woman who has been questioned and been under investigations has been involved in crimes and activity against the humanity. They have and many using child-soldiers, used ethnicity to win power and even some killings to the level of genocide.

OmarAlBashirCourtOrder1406

“Article 127

Withdrawal

  1. A State Party may, by written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the

United Nations, withdraw from this Statute. The withdrawal shall take effect one year after the date of receipt of the notification, unless the notification specifies a later date.

  1. A State shall not be discharged, by reason of its withdrawal, from the obligations arising from this Statute while it was a Party to the Statute, including any financial obligations which may have accrued. Its withdrawal shall not affect any cooperation with the Court in connection with criminal investigations and proceedings in relation to which the withdrawing State had a duty to cooperate and which were commenced prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective, nor shall it prejudice in any way the continued consideration of any matter which was already under consideration by the Court prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective” (ICC, P: 74, 2011).

Burundi withdraws:

“President Pierre Nkurunziza, who critics accuse of human rights abuses, signed a decree late on Tuesday that paves the way for his east African nation’s departure from the court. His decision comes at time when the ICC is conducting a preliminary investigation into politically motivated violence in Burundi in which several hundred people died” (Alionby, 2016).

South Africa withdraws:

“Under the Rome Statute, the 2002 treaty that established the court, countries are obligated to arrest anyone sought by the tribunal. “Legal uncertainty” around the statute blocks South Africa from resolving conflicts through dialogue, including inviting adversaries for visits, Justice Minister Michael Masutha said, and handing over a foreign leader to the court would have amounted to an infringement of South Africa’s sovereignty” (…) “The Rome Statute “is in conflict and inconsistent with” South Africa’s law giving sitting leaders diplomatic immunity, Mr. Masutha said at a news conference on Friday. The question is before the country’s high court” (…) “Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane this week formally notified the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, of South Africa’s intention to withdraw from the international court. Leaving the body would take about a year, during which South Africa would still have to cooperate with the court’s proceedings”  (Chan & Marlise, 2016).

This is happening while the ICC has asked for Nations who has signed up for the Rome Statute and the ICC. This has been South Africa, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya. The Non-compliance documents of Djibouti and Uganda has even come in 11th July 2016. The Arrest Warrant on President Omar Al-Bashir we’re set on 4th March 2009. There has gone 7 years has passed and his still roaming around with countries willingly delivering “non-compliance” documentations to the ICC for their non-cooperation towards them.

sudan-cartoon

There are more running cases on the continent… some of them are:

The ICC Prosecutor has opened cases against 26 individuals in connection with five African countries. Twenty-five of these remain open; the 26th, against Darfur rebel leader Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, was dismissed by judges, though the prosecutor may attempt to submit new evidence in an attempt to re-open it. The cases stem from investigations into violence in Libya, Kenya’s post-election unrest in 2007-2008, rebellion and counter-insurgency in the Darfur region of Sudan, the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency in central Africa, civil conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and a 2002-2003 conflict in the Central African Republic. The Prosecutor is also examining 2010-2011 violence in Côte d’Ivoire, a 2009 military crackdown on opposition supporters in Guinea, and inter-communal violence in central Nigeria, but has not opened formal investigations or opened cases with regard to these situations. Uganda, DRC, CAR, Kenya, Nigeria, and Guinea are states parties to the ICC. Sudan, Libya, and Côte d’Ivoire are not. ICC jurisdiction in Sudan and Libya stems from U.N. Security Council actions, while jurisdiction in Côte d’Ivoire was granted by virtue of a declaration submitted by the Ivorian Government on October 1, 2003, which accepted the jurisdiction of the Court as of September 19, 2002.25 Five suspects—four Congolese nationals and one Rwandan—are currently in ICC custody. The ICC Prosecutor has sought summonses, rather than arrest warrants, in connection with attempted prosecutions of Darfur rebel commanders and of Kenyan suspects. The Prosecutor has not secured any convictions to date” (Congressional Reaserch Service, 2011).

The Kenyan case we’re like the Prosecutor said wasn’t done, but for now there wasn’t able to follow through on evidence and make a case worth living. That is me translating the jurors lingo. The IGAD communique on the 6th April 2016: “The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) joins Kenyans of all walks of life to rejoice the collapse of cases against the Deputy President, H.E. William Samoei Ruto and his co-accused, radio journalist, Joshua Arap Sang at the International Criminal Court in The Hague yesterday” (…) “It would be recalled that IGAD had condemned the way the ICC had handled the Kenyan cases from the beginning. During a press conference held in Nairobi on 22nd March 2011, Amb Mahboub stated clearly IGAD’s position on the deferral request of the ICC cases by Kenya pointing out that the trials would “weaken the country and weaken the region” (IGAD, 06.04.2016).

The Kenyan government President Kenyatta the day before on the 5th April 2016:

“Earlier today, Trial Chamber V (a) of the International Criminal Court acquitted my Deputy President, Honourable William Ruto, and Mr. Joshua Arap Sang. I welcome the aforementioned decision, which reaffirms my strong conviction from the beginning about the innocence of my Deputy President. From the start of this case, I have believed that this case was ill-conceived and never grounded on the proper examination of our experience of 2007/2008 as a nation” (…) “Each and every Kenyan was touched by the tragedy that befell our nation in 2007-2008. Each and every victim of this unfortunate happening matters. Not one of them has been forgotten. Their suffering demanded of us as leadership to seek reconciliation. My Deputy and I campaigned and were elected on a platform to unite and reconcile our motherland. When you entrusted the leadership of the country to our administration, you made us responsible for the healing and reconciliation of our people” (Kenyatta, Uhuru – ‘H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta Statement on ICC verdict on the Ruto and Sang Case’ 05.04.2016).

So with this in mind, the Kenyan Government have been thoroughly investigated by the ICC recently over time since the ICC charged people close connected to the current leadership and government. They even at some point had a case against the Kenyan President Kenyatta, but they let it slide because they got no witness angle on him. The Jubilee has fought back and has done their duty towards Courts. Still the wound of charges, the appearance and the trial has hurt.

The newest ICC cases into Africa is the post-election violence where even the Parliament we’re put on fire.  “In the letter of referral to the ICC signed by Gabon’s Justice Minister Denise Mekamne Edzidzie, the government accuses Ping and his supporters of incitement to genocide and crimes against humanity” (…) “It highlights a speech which Ping gave during his electoral campaign, in which he allegedly called on his supporters to “get rid of the cockroaches.” (…) “These words were an incitement to commit the crime of genocide,” the letter says” (France24, 2016). The Gabonese Authorities tries to pin it on the Opposition as the election rigging made the public mad and not just the supporters of Jean Ping. If the ICC uses this opportunity not to pin it on themselves as the Second Generation for life President Bongo!

African Union Letter to the ICC on the 29th January 2014:

au-letter-icc-jan-2014-p1au-letter-icc-jan-2014-p2au-letter-icc-jan-2014-p3au-letter-icc-jan-2014-p4

So the long-stemming grievances are now coming into effect. The feeling of being targets while others walk scotch-free. The inaccurate acts of being the main ones, even as the violence, genocides and crimes against humanity happen; the leaders don’t want a hanging gallows over their heads. Still, the acts of many current Presidents and their Regimes are using armies like Ethiopia against civilians. If they weren’t a strong ally of the United States, they would have a cherry to pick at the courts. President Museveni fears for place, the same should President Mugabe that never been for the Gukurahundi massacres we’re Zimbabwean Republican Police killed 20,000 people. These are men who fear the ICC and would do what they can to not be touched by their current sins and the ones of old.

Sudan, the country of President Omar Al-Bashir has said this in the recent our about the matter:

“This wise decision is established by the Republic of Burundi on objective grounds that the so-called International Criminal Court has become a tool of pressure and instability in the under-development countries. Further, the opening of investigations against some leaders is a result of pressures exercised by the western force,” the statement cited by the Sudan Tribune said” (Akwei, 2016).

So the country who has the Executive under charges, the other one of late has been forces away from power, but still men who was in charge of their respectable nations President Laurent Gbagbo who have now recently been in trial at ICC:

“On Thursday, Mr. Gbagbo, the former president of Ivory Coast, will go on trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, facing four counts of crimes against humanity stemming from the violence surrounding the 2010 presidential election. He was narrowly defeated in a runoff, but he insisted that he had won and refused to cede power, leading to months of turmoil and the deaths of more than 3,000 people before his arrest in April 2011” (…) “The trial of Mr. Gbagbo is an important challenge for the International Criminal Court. He is the first former president to reach trial at the tribunal, which has been in operation for a decade with a mandate to deal with war crimes and genocide. Also on trial with him will be Charles Blé Goudé, one of Mr. Gbagbo’s militia leaders in the 2011 upheaval, which followed more than a decade of ethnic political violence in Ivory Coast” (Rothschild, 2016).

So with this in mind, he isn’t a guerrilla fighting with child-soldiers like the ones charged by the ICC when coming to Lord Resistance Army and others who has been charged for violations against humanity in the ICC. These being Bosco the Terminator from the Democratic Republic of Congo, also that the former Vice President of Pierre Bemba of the MLC has been charged for his crimes, while his President Joseph Kabila walks free for his sins. This proves the neglect and the handpicked cases of the ICC. Reasons why the African Union and others are claiming so, partly righteous, partly wrong! The key to this, if the ICC want to be serious as an International legal institution… it needs cases and probes into states in Europe, America and Asia; not only War-Lords in Africa. That is just Neo-Colonialism and proves the questionable attributes to the character of the laws and big-man politics of the world. Peace.

Reference:

Akwei, Ismail – ‘Sudan urges mass African withdrawal from the ICC’ (21.10.2016) link: http://www.africanews.com/2016/10/21/sudan-urges-mass-african-withdrawal-from-the-icc/

Alionby, John – ‘Burundi becomes first nation to quit International Criminal Court’ (19.10.2016) link: https://www.ft.com/content/ce408588-95bf-11e6-a1dc-bdf38d484582

Chan, Sewell & Simons, Marlise – ‘South Africa to Withdraw From International Criminal Court’ (21.10.2016) link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/22/world/africa/south-africa-international-criminal-court.html?_r=0

Congressional Research Service – ‘International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues’ (22.07.2011) link: https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL34665.pdf

France24 – ‘ICC opens preliminary probe into Gabon unrest’ (29.09.2016) link: http://www.france24.com/en/20160929-icc-opens-preliminary-probe-situation-gabon

Mbaku, John Mukum – ‘Africa’s Case Against the ICC’, Weber State University

 

Rothschild, Saskia de – ‘Trial of Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo Will Test International Criminal Court’ (27.01.2016) link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/28/world/africa/ivory-coast-laurent-gbagbo-hague-trial.html

 

International Criminal Court – Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (17.07.1998 in force on 01.07.2002) Copyrighted 2011

Kenya: “Of 10 witnesses compelled by court to testify only 5 showed up” Tom Maliti of ICC (Youtube-Clip)

“Judges at the International Criminal Court declared a mistrial in the case of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto, throwing out the charges he faced over post-election violence because political interference had made a fair trial impossible” (France24, 2016)

Press Release – IGAD Rejoices the Collapse of Last Kenya ICC Cases (06.04.2016).

Dec-09-12-Uhuru-Ruto-and-Mudavadi

Djibouti, 6th April 2016: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) joins Kenyans of all walks of life to rejoice the collapse of cases against the Deputy President, H.E. William Samoei Ruto and his co-accused, radio journalist, Joshua Arap Sang at the International Criminal Court in The Hague yesterday.

In an express Note Verbale to the President of the Republic of Kenya last evening, the IGAD Executive Secretary, Ambassador (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim wrote, in part:

“We join you, your government and the people of Kenya to celebrate the termination of the remaining cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The country in particular and the region at large can now focus on more importantand urgent development matters including reconciliation, healing and post conflict reconstruction.”

It would be recalled that IGAD had condemned the way the ICC had handled the Kenyan cases from the beginning. During a press conference held in Nairobi on 22nd March 2011, Amb Mahboub stated clearly IGAD’s position on the deferral request of the ICC cases by Kenya pointing out that the trials would “weaken the country and weaken the region”.

On numerous subsequent occasions, IGAD has continued to call for the withdrawal of the remaining charges against Deputy President Ruto and journalist Arap Sang. The regional organization has also been instrumental in rallying governments in the region through the African Union to demonstrate their solidarity, particularly against ICC ‘targeting’ leaders while still in office.

For more information, contact:

mahamed.abdillahi@igad.int // sharon.kuku@igad.int

H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta Statement on ICC verdict on the Ruto and Sang Case (05.04.2016).

Kenyatta Ruto

Earlier today, Trial Chamber V (a) of the International Criminal Court acquitted my Deputy President, Honourable William Ruto, and Mr. Joshua Arap Sang. I welcome the aforementioned decision, which reaffirms my strong conviction from the beginning about the innocence of my Deputy President. From the start of this case, I have believed that this case was ill-conceived and never grounded on the proper examination of our experience of 2007/2008 as a nation.

Over the last six years, My Deputy President, together with a number of other Kenyans, including myself, have endured a painful journey with the ICC. As individuals and as a country, we have cooperated fully with the court, and my Deputy has, at the same time, also borne the heavy responsibilities of leadership, while attending the hearing at the Hague. Today, he has been vindicated.

This decision brings to a close what has been a nightmare for my nation. With the conclusion of this case at the ICC, our country is fully back on focus to enhance our efforts towards nation building, promotion peace and security. For my Deputy and I, this focuses us fully on the affairs of running the State, a mandate given to us by the people of Kenya.

As we welcome this decision, Kenya together with like-minded nations, will remain seized of the efforts geared towards the pursuit of justice and equitable participation in the international justice system. As a nation, we recognize our duty to, and respect for, international law and institutions. We will therefore continue to pursue ways to improve the delivery of international justice, uphold the rule of law and promote a just and fair global order.

To my Fellow Compatriots,
Each and every Kenyan was touched by the tragedy that befell our nation in 2007-2008. Each and every victim of this unfortunate happening matters. Not one of them has been forgotten. Their suffering demanded of us as leadership to seek reconciliation. My Deputy and I campaigned and were elected on a platform to unite and reconcile our motherland. When you entrusted the leadership of the country to our administration, you made us responsible for the healing and reconciliation of our people.

Kenya has come a long way since the dark days of 2008. We have made peace. We have given ourselves a new constitution and a new political order. We have resettled and compensated many victims, and continue to respond to the outcomes of that unfortunate period of our history.

I invite each and every Kenya to double our efforts in building our nation.
When the ICC case against me was dropped, I told Kenyans that I could not celebrate until all the cases had been terminated.

So, today, I call upon all Kenyans of goodwill to join us at the Afraha Stadium, Nakuru, on Saturday 16th April 2016, for a thanksgiving service. This will be an opportunity for prayers for healing, reconciliation and unity of Kenya as we push on the path of inclusive prosperity for all.

Thank you. God bless Kenya.

Re: Complain & Demand for an Investigation Against William Ruto, Minster for Higher Education (17.06.2010)

ICC Ruto P1ICC Ruto P2ICC Ruto P3ICC Ruto P4ICC Ruto P5ICC Ruto P6ICC Ruto P7ICC Ruto P8ICC Ruto P9ICC Ruto P10ICC Ruto P11ICC Ruto P12

Ruto and Sang case: Statement, ICC spokesperson, 5 April 2016 (Youtube-Clip)

“Today, 5 April 2016, Trial Chamber V(A) of the International Criminal Court decided, by majority, Judge Herrera Carbuccia dissenting, that the case against William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang is to be terminated. According to the majority, this decision does not preclude new prosecution in the future either at the ICC or in a national jurisdiction. This decision may be subject to appeal.
The Chamber considered the requests of Mr Ruto and Mr Sang that the Chamber find that there is ‘no case to answer’, dismiss the charges against both accused and enter a judgment of acquittal. The Chamber also considered the opposing submissions of the Prosecutor and the Legal Representative of the Victims, and received further submissions during hearings held from 12 to 15 January 2016.
On the basis of the evidence and arguments submitted to the Chamber, Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji and Judge Robert Fremr, as the majority, agreed that the charges are to be vacated and the accused are to be discharged. They provided separate reasons for this decision.
Judge Fremr found that there is no case for the accused to answer based on an assessment of the Prosecution’s evidence in accordance he considered that the Prosecution did not present sufficient evidence on which a reasonable Trial Chamber could convict the accused. Accordingly, he considered that there is no reason to call the Defence to bring their case or to prolong the proceedings any further.
Judge Eboe-Osuji, concurring with Judge Fremr’s evidential assessment, also vacated the charges and discharged the accused without prejudice to re-prosecution in the future, However, he declared a mistrial in the case, because it cannot be discounted that the weaknesses in the Prosecution case might be explained by the demonstrated incidence of tainting of the trial process by way of witness interference and political meddling that was reasonably likely to intimidate witnesses.
The majority of the Chamber, having concluded that the Prosecution did not present sufficient evidence on which a reasonable Trial Chamber could convict the accused, also concluded that a judgment of acquittal was not the right outcome, but only vacation of the charges and discharge of the accused. The majority also agreed that there is no reason to re-characterise the charges.
Judge Herrera Carbuccia appended a dissenting opinion. In her view, the charges against both accused should not be vacated in the present case. In her view, the Prosecution’s case had not ‘broken down’ and she concluded that there is sufficient evidence upon which, if accepted, a reasonable Trial Chamber could convict the accused.
Over the course of 157 trial days, the Trial Chamber heard the testimony of 30 witnesses for the Prosecution, including two expert witnesses. During that time, the Chamber admitted into evidence 335 exhibits for the Prosecution, 226 exhibits for the Ruto Defence, and 82 exhibits for the Sang Defence. The Prosecution closed its case on 10 September 2015. At the close of the Prosecution’s case, the evidentiary record contained 92 photographs, 27 maps, 77 items of audio/visual material, and over 8,000 pages worth of documentary evidence. Throughout the trial proceedings, the Trial Chamber rendered over 400 written and oral decisions” (IntlCriminalCourt, 2016)

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