Kenya to appeal refusal to halt violence trials

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Kenya has lodged a new appeal to stop the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation of post-election violence in 2007-8, said Kenya’s Attorney General.

ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo has accused six prominent Kenyans including the finance minister of masterminding the violence that killed more than 1 200 people. All have said they are innocent of the charges.

The ICC will determine in September whether Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, son of the country’s post-independenc lear, Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura, Postal Corporation chief Hussein Ali, suspended government ministers William Ruto and Henry Kosgey, and radio executive Joshua Arap Sang should be ordered to stand trial, Reuters reports.

Kenya failed to halt the ICC investigation into the violence when judges in The Hague-based court said a lack of national proceedings against the suspects required the case to go ahead.

Kenyan Attorney General Amos Wako said the government was baffled by the decision by the ICC pre-trial judges which he said was made without granting the government an oral hearing.
“The government of Kenya is therefore reviewing the ruling with a view of appealing against both decisions to the Appeals Chamber of the ICC,” Wako said in a statement.

In their ruling, the ICC judges said Kenya had not provided information on any crimes or incidents over which the suspects are being investigated or questioned.

They added the court lacked information about the dates when investigations, if any, had commenced and that the government had not provided Kenyan police or prosecution reports about any questioning.



Past opinion polls in Kenya have shown strong public support for the ICC cases. Many feel the fractious coalition government does not have the political will to tackle an entrenched culture of impunity.