ICC prosecutor to make 'important announcement' on Kenya

10th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo will next week make an "important announcement" on post-election violence in Kenya, the court said Friday.

Moreno-Ocampo said in Nairobi last week that the names of the six Kenyans alleged to have masterminded the 2008 violence would be made public by December 17.

"On Wednesday, 15 December 2010, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo will hold a press conference and make an important announcement concerning the investigation in the Kenya situation," the court said in a statement.

At a Nairobi conference reviewing how far Kenya has got with the reforms undertaken since 2008 Moreno-Ocampo said on December 2 that the names of the suspected masterminds would be known, but added that "these individuals are still innocent".

"Their guilt or innocence will be decided by the judges at the end of the judicial process," he said.

Moreno-Ocampo said he had wrapped up his investigations and was going to ask the ICC judges to issue summonses for the six. Arrest warrants were only necessary if the suspects failed to honour the summonses.

A hearing to confirm the charges would be held in late 2011 or early 2012.

"The judges can confirm the charges and send the case to trial or amend or reject the charges," he said, adding that if the judges go for the trial option, they could start by late 2012 or early 2013.

"It will be a demanding process and there could be delays and setbacks," he cautioned.

Violence broke out following the disputed presidential poll of December 2007, where Mwai Kibaki won re-election. His rival, Raila Odinga is now prime minister in a power-sharing coalition.

The violence, the country's worst since independence, left more than 1,500 dead and 30,000 displaced.

After the Kenyan authorities failed to set up a special tribunal to try the perpetrators, the ICC, based in The Hague, decided to open an investigation.

The mediator in the Kenyan crisis, the former UN chief Kofi Annan, has insisted on the fact that the ICC was only tasked with pursuing the masterminds and bemoaned the lack of progress in prosecuting lower-ranking perpetrators in Kenya's national courts.

© 2010 AFP

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