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Kenya/ICC: Latest Statements and Court Documents
23 Jan 2012
Today, 23 January 2012, Pre-Trial Chamber II (PTC II) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to move cases against William Samoei Ruto, Joshua Arap Sang, Francis Muthaura and Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta to trial for crimes against humanity during post-election violence in 2007-2008 in Kenya. Judges declined to confirm charges against Henry Kiprono Kosgey and Mohammed Hussein Ali.
Please find below the latest media statements from members of the Coalition for the ICC (I), along with PTC II's decisions in each case and (II) a video summary of the decisions from the ICC (III).
Please also take note of the Coalition's policy on situations before the ICC (below), which explicitly states that the Coalition will not take a position on potential and current situations before the Court or situations under analysis. The Coalition, however, will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC.
I. COALITION MEMBERS' STATEMENTS
1. "Kenya: ICC ruling is 'important milestone for victims'," Amnesty International Press Release, 23 January 2012, http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=19907&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=newsfeed&utm_source=social
"Responding to today's ruling by the International Criminal Court (ICC) that four senior Kenyan figures will stand trial over the 2007 post-election violence, Amnesty International Kenya's Director Justus Nyang'aya said:
'Today's decision by the ICC is an important milestone for victims in their search for justice, truth and reparations for crimes which took place during the post-election violence. Whether or not these individuals are guilty of these charges remains to be seen and their right to a fair trial must be respected.
'But these are just four individuals. Thousands of human rights abuses, some of which may amount to crimes against humanity, took place during the post-election period and thousands of victims are still waiting for justice.
'It is vital that the Kenyan authorities open investigations and, where there is sufficient admissible evidence; prosecute all those suspected of committing crimes.'
Speaking about the ICC in general, Justus Nyang'aya added:
'Amnesty International is concerned that the ICC has been given insufficient funding by the states parties to the Rome Statute to guarantee that the trials are carried out promptly and with full respect for the rights of the defendants and victims.
'Cuts imposed on the ICC in the 2012 budget may result in severe delays in scheduling trials in the Kenyan situation. Such delays may infringe the defendants' rights to a fair trial.
'Amnesty International believes that cuts could hamper the Court's efforts to register victims of the post-election violence to take part in the trials.'"
2. "ICC: NPWJ welcomes ICC ruling to commence trials for Kenyan post-election violence," No Peace Without Justice Press Release, 23 January 2012, http://www.npwj.org/ICC/ICC-NPWJ-welcomes-ICC-ruling-commence-trials-Kenyan-post-election-violence.html
"The Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled today that of the six individuals charged with crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the post-election violence in Kenya that began in December 2007, four will be committed to full trial, namely William Samoei Ruto, Joshua Arap Sang, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Francis Kirimi Muthaura. Among the charges confirmed are murder, deportation and forced displacement, persecution, rape and sexual violence and other inhumane acts. The Pre-Trial Chamber II has determined that the evidence brought in the cases of Henry Kiprono Kosgey and Mohammed Hussein Ali is insufficient to support the charges, therefore these two cases will not proceed to trial at this stage.
Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:
'No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) welcome Pre-Trial Chamber II's decision to confirm charges against four individuals for crimes committed during the post-election violence in Kenya, which left over one thousand people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands. The decision to launch full trials against four of the six individuals charged is a monumental step toward the achievement of justice for Kenyans. Impunity for political violence has been the norm in Kenya for far too long and this ruling by the ICC demonstrates that crimes against humanity must never go unpunished.
'This ruling is especially significant in light of the political involvement and influence of the individuals charged, among whom are two candidates for the 2012 Presidential elections: Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto. The commencement of trials of these two politicians signifies to the international community that no one is exempt from justice - regardless of identity, political affiliation or power. It also signifies that the days of rewarding violence with political power are over.
'NPWJ and the NRPTT urge the four individuals charged, along with the Government of Kenya, to continue to cooperate with the ICC, including this ruling, and to take all possible steps to guarantee that the trials proceed promptly and smoothly. While the Government of Kenya has opposed ICC involvement in investigations against these six individuals and has refused to arrest Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who is subject to an ICC arrest warrant, this ruling affords the Government a second opportunity to demonstrate its firm opposition to the perpetration of politically-motivated mass crimes and its commitment to the ultimate goal of pursuing justice.
'Moreover, with the start of a new phase in the judicial process, we also urge the ICC to ensure that the concerns of victims and those affected by the crimes whose charges were confirmed today are heard and addressed. It is important to recall that victims have a right not only to justice, but also to reparation and assistance. Therefore, outreach efforts on the ground must be amplified in order to meet all the fundamental needs of victims and communities across Kenya who have been affected by the crimes committed during the post-election violence, with a special focus on women and children.
'NPWJ and the NRPTT recognise that with the dropping of the cases against Mr Kosgey and Mr Ali, some individuals may feel betrayed by this decision. Nevertheless, we urge all Kenyans to accept this ruling peacefully, recalling that the ICC is an independent and unbiased tribunal and that justice will ultimately be delivered - whether internationally or by domestic institutions.
'To that end, NPWJ and the NRPTT note that the pursuit of justice cannot be undertaken solely by the ICC, which focuses on perpetrators at the highest level. Kenya too has a responsibility to its citizens - including hundreds of thousands of victims - to pursue accountability and prevent impunity at all levels of perpetration. Thus far, no criminal accountability process has taken place in Kenya to address the crimes committed in 2007. NPWJ and the NRPTT therefore urge the Kenyan Judiciary to embark swiftly upon the long-overdue domestic investigations and prosecutions of all those criminally responsible for the post-election violence in Kenya .'"
II. ICC DOCUMENTS
1. "Decision in the case The Prosecutor v. Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Mohammed Hussein Ali," ICC-01/09-02/11-382-Red, International Criminal Court, 23 January 2012, http://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/doc/doc1314543.pdf
2. "Decision in the case The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto, Henry Kiprono Kosgey and Joshua Arap Sang," ICC-01/09-01/11-373, International Criminal Court, 23 January 2012, http://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/doc/doc1314535.pdf
1. "Kenya situation: Summary of the decisions on the confirmation of charges, 23 January 2012," International Criminal Court, 23 January 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnyc7x9a3jI