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Daily Nation : February 13th 2014
DAILY NATION Thursday February 13, 2014 JUSTICE | Prosecution counsel says post-poll violence charges cannot be sustained State frustrated by PEV cases It could have been easier to charge suspects internationally given threshold of evidence, says DPP’s office BY OUMA WANZALA @Iwanzala firstname.lastname@example.org T he more than 4,000 postelection violence cases can not continue due to lack of evidence, the prosecution has said. There was no evidence to prose- cute the suspects locally, Ms Lillian Obwol, the senior principal prosecution counsel in the Director of Public Prosecutions office said. “We are not refusing to prosecute. There is insufficient evidence to support charges. When we started handling these cases we were doing so under the penal code,” said Ms Obwol. She said that it could have been easier to prosecute the 2007/08 suspects internationally given the threshold of evidence. “We have been calling upon victims to come forward with evidence, but no one has done so.” Ms Obwol spoke on Tuesday at Strathmore University in Nairobi during an international criminal justice week on “International Trials Under Scrutiny: Are prosecutions the key to accountability for mass crimes in Africa?” Ms Betty Murungi, the chairperson of Akiba Uhaki Foundation and the vice-chairperson of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said the government had failed to address the concerns of victims. “The government failed to come up with laws to guide the settlement of those affected by the chaos,” said Ms Murungi. She lamented that 4,000 Number of PEV cases that lack sufficient evidence for prosecution. BACKGROUND despite the fact that many Kenyans were displaced by the violence they had not been treated equally. Some were given money while others were not, she said. Mr Macharia Gaitho, the chairman of Kenya Editors Guild, said by giving people money to buy alternative land, the State had helped to drive the agenda of the perpetrators of the post-poll violence. “Despite President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto having agreed to work together, people in their areas are still living in fear,” Mr Gaitho said, noting that the evictees were not ready to abandon their land but had bought alternative plots where they can run to in case of another conflict. “We are just sitting around and waiting for the next explosion (of violence,” I fear,” said Mr Gaitho. The Editors Guild chairman said that the support Kenyans gave the ICC was no longer there and that the public had turned against institutions. “We are behaving as if it’s the ICC that is on trial in Kenya and now we are talking about justice according to our political leaning.” Mr Gaitho said that those in Cord areas supported the ICC while those in Jubilee zones were opposed to ICC, 2007/08 postpoll violence nThe 2007 disputed presidential election led to violence across the country. nAt least 1,000 people died and more than 600,000 were uprooted from their homes. nPresident Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto together with former broadcaster Joshua Sang have cases at the ICC. nThe Director of Public Prosecutions took over more than 4,000 cases for prosecution locally. nIn 2012 in Nakuru, Peter Kipkemboi Ruto was jailed for life for the murder of Mzee Kamau Kimani on January 1, 2008. nMr Stephen Chamalan, now a Ward Rep in Uasin Gishu County, was acquitted in relation to PEV. even those affected by the violence in Eldoret and Nakuru. Mr Serge Brammertz, the prosecu- tor for the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, said EMMA NZIOKA | NATION Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia Serge Brammertz and Ms Betty Murungi of Akiba Uhaki. They were members of a panel put together to discuss the ICC and scrutinise some of the trials. The event was held on Tuesday at the Strathmore Business School in Nairobi. that the national and international justice systems had to work together as partners to address international crimes across the world. “We have to make this initiative a partnership between the international criminal justice system and the local justice system in order to ensure that those who commit atrocities are brought to justice,” said Mr Brammertz. Prof Alex Whiting of Harvard Law School said that countries across the globe had a role to play in ensuring that there was justice and urged the states to support the international justice project or it will fail. “People ask: Why can’t we have justice everywhere? We should. We have to accept half a loaf of bread in hope we get full loaf eventually,” he said. National News 9 We can’t force witnesses who quit to testify at ICC: Githu BY NATION REPORTER The government has no power to compel witnesses who dropped out of Deputy President William Ruto’s case to testify before the ICC, Attorney-General Githu Muigai has said. Prof Muigai told the Trial Cham- ber V (A) that prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s interpretation of Kenyan law regarding the appearance of witnesses to testify before the ICC was “flawed”. He also faulted the office of the prosecutor for taking upon itself the responsibility of interpreting Kenyan laws. “Kenya submits that while it is feasible under its laws for witnesses to voluntarily appear before the court sitting at an appropriate location of its choice in Kenya (in situ or by means of video-link technology) for purposes of testifying, the Government of Kenya submits that under its national law, in particular the International Crimes Act, No 16 of 2008, a witness cannot be compelled to appear and testify before the court regardless of where it is sitting,” the AG said in a written response to Ms Bensouda’s request that witnesses who gave their statements and later withdrew be compelled by Kenyan authorities to appear before the ICC. Trial Chamber V(A) had directed that the government makes a written response to the chamber. The court has scheduled a status conference for tomorrow to discuss matters related to the prosecution’s request to summon witnesses.
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