The ICC has named six suspects, including two top politicians, alleged to have masterminded the deadly 2007/08 post-election violence in Kenya.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday accused six Kenyans, including the son of the nation’s founder, Jomo Kenyatta, of masterminding the 2007/08 post-election violence that claimed 1 500 lives.
The Hague-based court took charge of trying key suspects in connection with the country’s worst violence since independence in 1963, after Nairobi last year failed to set up a tribunal of its own in line with agreements that ended the chaos.
Those named include Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, the son of Jomo Kenyatta, as well as former education minister William Ruto.
“Today [Wednesday] the office of the prosecutor filed its document presenting the results of its investigation in the last eight months for the crimes committed in Kenya,” the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, told a press conference
He said the six, including Kenyatta and Ruto, “are the most responsible, but of course there are many others ... We concentrate on the most responsible ... of course, Kenya can decide to prosecute more”.
Moreno-Ocampo accused Ruto, a presidential candidate for 2012, of “preparing a criminal plan to attack ... the Party of National Unity”, and inciting violence.
“They immediately ... began to attack,” he said.
Moreno-Ocampo said he was requesting summons for Ruto, Kenyatta, industrialisation minister Henry Kiprono Kosgey, and former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali for alleged murder, deportation, and persecutions.
The prosecutor filed two separate cases, with different charges. The other suspects are radio executive Joshua Arap Sang, and Kenya’s secretary to the Cabinet, Francis Kirimi Muthaura.
Internationally brokered peace deal
The prosecutors previously indicated that the suspects were from or linked to the two sides of Kenya’s coalition government, formed after a contested presidential election and the ensuing bloodbath.
Under an internationally brokered peace deal, President Mwai Kibaki’s Party of National Unity shares power with and Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Party.
The ICC, which started operating in the Hague in 2002, is the world’s only independent, permanent tribunal with the jurisdiction to try allegations of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Kenya was plunged into violence after the December 27 2007 general elections in which the then-opposition chief Odinga accused Kibaki of having rigged his re-election.
What began as political riots soon turned into ethnic killings targeting Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe.
They launched reprisal attacks in which homes were torched, people hacked to death and about 300 000 forced to flee their homes.—AFP, Reuters