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Africa

ICC prosecutor to probe post-election violence

©

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-30

The International Criminal Court's (pictured) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo will pursue those "most responsible" for violent crimes allegedly committed after the 2007 elections in Kenya, his office has confirmed.

AFP - The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court will pursue those "most responsible" for violent crimes allegedly committed after 2007 elections in Kenya, his office said Wednesday.
  
The prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has decided on a approach with "the ICC prosecuting those most responsible" for alleged crimes against humanity and domestic justice for other perpetrators.
  
Kenya's post-election violence has been under preliminary examination by the prosecutor since last year, but Moreno-Ocampo has hitherto maintained he would only press charges if Kenya itself failed to set up a court to try those responsible.
  
"The ICC will pursue those most responsible," his key aide Beatrice le Fraper told AFP on Wednesday, adding that Kenya had "undertaken to refer the situation to us."
  
"The question now is when we will receive that referral."
  
The prosecutor would discuss the modalities of the intended prosecution with senior Kenyan authorities in the coming weeks, including the president and prime minister, she said.
  
Some 1,500 people were killed and another 300,000 displaced in a matter of weeks following presidential polls in December 27, 2007, in which then opposition chief Raila Odinga accused President Mwai Kibaki of having stolen the vote.
  
Odinga is now prime minister under a power-sharing deal.
  
The Kenyan government has yet to act on the recommendations of its own inquiry last October that a special tribunal be set up to try those thought responsible.
  
In June, former UN chief Kofi Annan also called for Kenya to set up a special court to try suspects, or have them face justice before the ICC.
  
Annan, the chief broker in Kenya's power-sharing talks, sent the court a list of names of key suspects in July.
  
Also in July, Moreno-Ocampo was briefed in The Hague by Kenyan Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo.
  
Wednesday's statement said that on top of prosecution, there should also be a truth and reconciliation commission "to shed light on the full history of past events and to suggest mechanisms to prevent such crimes in the future."
  
"Kenya will be a world example on managing violence."
  
The ICC is the world's only independent, permanent court with the jurisdiction to try genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Date created : 2009-09-30

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