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ICC to prosecute six Kenyans over poll chaos

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-12

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, International Criminal Court Prosecutor said on Wednesday that six Kenyans will be prosecuted over poll unrest from 2007-2008 which claimed 1,200 lives and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

AFP - International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said Wednesday he will pursue six Kenyans over the 2007-2008 poll unrest which claimed 1,200 lives and present a case before the year's end.

"We will conduct two investigations. We will present the case and we will select the most serious incidents," Moreno-Ocampo told reporters at the end of a five-day visit to meet victims of the violence.

"We will select those who are the most responsible for these incidents and we will present the case before the end of the year against six persons. That is what we will do."

In March, the ICC prosecutor handed judges 20 names of top political and business leaders suspected of involvement in the violence triggered by the disputed December 2007 presidential elections.

The 20 were associated with President Mwai Kibaki's Party of National Unity and Prime Minister Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement.

"The reason to have only six is because we are dealing with massive crime... So we select the most responsible. The others should be dealt with by the national system. It is a division of labour," he added.

Hundreds of thousands of people were also left homeless by the tribal killings after then opposition chief Odinga accused Kibaki of rigging his re-election.

Moreno-Ocampo said he will call 60 witnesses who will be given protection. Several witnesses have recently complained of receiving death threats.

The prosecutor said on Saturday the Kenyan case would send a signal to other African countries against post-poll violence.

Some 15 African countries are to hold elections in the next 18 months.

The clashes that followed Kenya's 2007 disputed polls were the east Africa country's bloodiest since independence in 1963.

A power-sharing deal brokered by former UN chief Kofi Annan in early 2008 brought an end to the unrest by making Odinga the prime minister and Kibaki retaining his seat.

After a meeting with the two leaders Wednesday, the president's office said in a statement that the "government assured the prosecutor of continued facilitation."

Date created : 2010-05-12