Two Kenyan suspects to be tried by ICC before end of year- Ocampo

Tuesday June 01 2010

ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo. Two key suspects from Kenya will be tried before end of the year. Photo/FILE

The International Criminal Court will file charges against at least two key suspects behind the post-election violence in Kenya by the end of the year.

ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said the investigations were progressing well and the main suspects could know their charges by December.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo was giving the status of the ICC probe he launched in Nairobi during his visit last month. He said the government was assisting his investigators.

“I am delighted the Attorney-General of Kenya informed the conference how they are supporting our work. And as I said, we will present two cases before the end of the year,” he said.

He was speaking to the Press at Speke Resort in Munyonyo, Kampala, on the sidelines of the two-week conference on the review of the Rome Statute.

The ICC Review Conference, which has attracted over 2,000 NGOs and representatives of 111 State Parties and other non-members, seeks to amend the 1998 Rome Statute that established the ICC seven years ago.


Kenya is represented at the conference by Attorney-General Amos Wako and Lands minister James Orengo. Others at the conference are MPs Abdikadir Mohamed and Musa Sirma.

The two cases which Mr Moreno-Ocampo was referring to will affect six key suspects of the post-election violence who he intends to drag to The Hague for trials. He said the suspects include political leaders drawn from both PNU and ODM, senior civil servants and business people.

At least 1,133 people were killed and another 650,000 displaced from their homes during the chaos that followed the announcement of the disputed 2007 presidential election results.

The meeting also changed the earlier intention of the government to push for the UN Security Council’s approval of the ICC’s mandate over the crime of aggression.

Presenting the African position, Mr Wako said the 33 states who are members of ICC agreed that the jurisdiction of The Hague over the crime of aggression should not be subject to the Security Council’s approval.

He said the Statute already contains a filter mechanism in the form of Pre-Trial Chamber hence ruling out the need for approval by the Security Council.

“Some have suggested that the Council’s prior approval for the exercise of jurisdiction is a necessary consequence of the provisions of the Charter – some going so far as to argue that the council has 'exclusive responsibility’ of determining the existence of the crime of aggression,” he said.

He added: “This is consistent neither with a literal or purposive interpretation of the Charter which, while granting the Council the 'primary responsibility’, does not exclude the role of other organs of the UN or the ICC from making determinations on the crime of aggression.”

The inclusion of the crime of aggression on the list of crimes tried by the International Criminal Court is among the debates at the 10 day ICC Review Conference going on in Kampala.

Mr Wako said African states approve of the treatment of the crime of aggression just like all the other crimes tried by the ICC.

However, he added, in order to avoid political prosecutions, it is important that the alleged aggressor state should have consented to the court’s exercise of jurisdiction over the crime of aggression.

African countries are currently represented by Uganda and Nigeria on the Security Council, but are non-permanent member states and therefore do not hold veto powers.

The permanent member states to the Security Council – USA, Russia, China, United Kingdom and France are not elected and are not parties to the Rome Statute hence tend to lean onto their home political policies, what the African states are understood to disagree with.