Kenya wants to stop post-poll unrest case: ICC prosecutor

29th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Sunday accused the Kenyan government of pursuing "campaigns" aimed at stopping its probe of 2007-08 post-election violence.

"High-ranking members of the government are misrepresenting ICC efforts to do justice for the victims as an attack against Kenyan sovereignty," prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said in a statement.

"They are pursuing regional and political campaigns to stop the case," he said.

The prosecutor is investigating six Kenyans accused of masterminding the post-election violence that claimed more than 1,100 lives.

The six, senior allies of President Mwai Kibaki and of his rival Raila Odinga, face charges of crimes against humanity after Moreno-Ocampo fingered them as the "most responsible" for the violence that also left 3,500 people injured and up to 600,000 forcibly displaced.

They include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and former education minister William Ruto, both potential candidates in 2012 presidential elections.

A delegation of the prosecutor's office will visit Kenya on Monday.

"Does the government of Kenya want justice for the victims? Is the government of Kenya protecting witnesses or protecting the suspects from investigation? That is the question," Moreno-Ocampo said.

Not only was the government sending the wrong signals, but also "promoting a growing climate of fear that is intimidating potential witnesses and ultimately undermining national and international investigations."

Kenya contests the ICC's jurisdiction to investigate the case, saying it will do so itself.

© 2011 AFP

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