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The East African : Nov 10th 2014
8 CHANGING RULES OF ENGAGEMENT ICC asks Kenya to give details of amendments to Rome Statute Nai≥obi had in Ma≥ch submitted five p≥oposals to change ≥ules By FRED OLUOCH Special Correspondent T he International Criminal Court Working Group on Amendments has asked Kenya to give details and clarity on its proposed amendments to the Rome Statute ahead of the Assembly of State Parties meeting next month. Kenya has presented a pro- posal seeking four amendments to the Rome Statute, some of which were effected by the ICC chamber last year when it made the decision that allowed President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto not to attend all sessions except for specific sittings. The Kenyan mission to the United Nations promised during the Working Group on Amendments at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Wednesday, that Kenya was to provide details on Friday. The ASP is scheduled to meet from December 8 to 17 at The Hague to consider various amendments from state parties. Already, the WGA held in- formal consultations with ASP and the civil society on Wednesday where they looked at proposals to improve the functioning of the ICC. Kenya had in March 14 submitted five proposals for amendments to the Rome Statute for consideration by the WGA. Those conversant with the procedure told The EastAfrican that Kenya may be forced to amend some of its proposals, delete some or even add new ones. The meeting that was chaired by Switzerland ambassador Paul Seger, agreed to focus on proposals to improve the functioning of the Court, in relation to amendment proposals to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence and to discuss the amendment proposals contained in the report of the ICC Study Group on Governance (SGG). The Netherlands representa- We will look at all these proposals on their merits, make sure they are compatible with the statute .” Marcel van den Boogaard, The Netherlands representative The EastAfrican NEWS NOVEMBER 8-14,2014 Nku≥unziza, Zuma in defence and t≥ade deal By HAVYARIMANA MOSES Special Correspondent BURUNDIAN PRESIDENT Pierre Nkurunziza recently toured South Africa, ending his two-day visit with a bilateral agreement on co-operation in defence, health, education and minerals with Pretoria. The two countries agreed to form a joint commission for Co-operation, which will also see co-collaboration in culture and sports. “It is proper that we co-operate in sharing history through culture, sports and literature,” said South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma. In 2012, President Zuma made President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) appeared before ICC on October 8, 2014. Picture: File a three-day state visit to Burundi to strengthen the relationship between the two countries. Business leaders in his entourage met their Burundian counterparts and discussed investment and employment opportunities in Burundi. Burundi and South Africa then tive Marcel van den Boogaard, argued that his country supports every proposal to make the proceedings effective. “We will look at all these proposals on their merits, make sure they are compatible with the statute and do not harm the rights of the accused. We see sufficient safeguards in these proposals,” he said. Kenya’s five proposals for amendment included Article 63, which deals with trial in the presence of the accused. Kenya proposes that an ac- cused may be excused from continuous presence in the court after the chamber satisfies itself that exceptional circumstances exist. Secondly, Kenya wants amendments to Article 27 so that serving Heads of State, their deputies and anybody acting or is entitled to act as as a head of state may be exempted from prosecution during their term of office. Such an exemption may be renewed by the Court under the same conditions. Thirdly, Kenya wants amendments to Article 70 which creates offences of interference with the court’s processes such as intimidation of witnesses, bribery or attempts at bribing officials of the court or giving of false testimony in court. Kenya’s position is that this PRESIDENT KENYATTA’S CASE ICC in September summoned President Kenyatta to appear before it on October 8, 2014, despite the African Union’s declaration that a serving head of state shpuld not appera before the court. The prosecution filed a notice, requesting the Trial Chamber to further adjourn the trial of President Kenyatta until the government of Kenya executes in Article assumes that offences against administration of justice during the trials can be committed only against the court, but Kenya wants to also include offences by the court officials. “The Court shall have jurisdic- tion over the following offences against its administration of justice when committed intentionally by any person,” the proposal reads. The fourth proposal covers Article 112 to allow the Independent Oversight Mechanism (IOM) to be empowered to carry out inspection, evaluation and investigations of all the organs of the court. The office of the prosecutor has historically opposed the scope of authority of the IOM. Under Article 42 (1) and (2) the prosecutor has authority to act independently as a separate organ of the Court with full the prosecution’s request for records. President Kenyatta is charged, as an indirect co-perpetrator, with five counts of crimes against humanity consisting of murder, deportation or forcible transfer, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts allegedly committed during the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007-2008. full authority over the management and administration of the office. Kenya contends that there is a conflict of mandate between the OTP and the IOM. The final proposal is the is- sue of complementarity in which the Rome Statute emphasises that the ICC shall be complementary to national criminal jurisdictions. Kenya proposes an amendment to the provision to allow recognition of regional judicial mechanisms. “Emphasising that the Inter- national Criminal Court established under this Statute shall be complementary to national and regional criminal jurisdictions.” At the last Assembly of Parties meeting, Kenya complained that on several occasions it has not been accorded the co-operation expected from the court. President Nkurunziza. Picture: File signed an agreement to form structured co-operation in agriculture, sports and recreation, and defence. President Zuma pledged to co-operate with Bujumbura on the poverty alleviation programmes. In the latest agreement, em- phasis has been put on trade and investment to fight poverty. “We urge the South African business people to come and invest in Burundi, because it is now peaceful, stable and has untapped opportunities,” said President Nkurunziza. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report of 2014, Burundi gained 17 places to 140 position in the ease of the doing business ranking. South Africa, the continent’s second biggest economy with a GDP of $350.6 billion, played a key role in quelling war in Burundi through negotiations and peacekeeping missions ahead of the Arusha Agreement.
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