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ICC Seeking Speedy Kenya Trials

kenyangovernment

Saturday, 7 November 2009

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor says he wants to move quickly against the perpetrators of Kenya’s 2007 post-election violence.

Luis Moreno Ocampo said two or three cases could come to trial by July next year.

Mr Ocampo said “speed” was important so Kenya could hold its next election in 2012 without the threat of violence.

On Thursday, Mr Ocampo formally requested judges at the Hague to open an investigation into the violence.

“Everyone is worried about the next election in Kenya in 2012. That is why I understand the importance of speed,” Mr Ocampo told reporters in Nairobi as he ended a three-day visit.

He indicated that any trials could take place in Kenya, or at least in Arusha – in Tanzania – where suspects involved in the 1994 Rwanda genocide have been prosecuted.

After meeting with the chief prosecutor earlier in the week, Kenya’s government said it would co-operate with an ICC probe.

Prominent Kenyan politicians, including cabinet ministers, are suspected of being behind the violence.

The clashes between December 2007 and February 2008 left some 1,300 people dead and forced 300,000 from their homes.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga agreed to share power to end the clashes that followed the 2007 poll.

A power-sharing deal in 2008 – brokered by former UN head Kofi Annan – agreed that a local tribunal would be set up to prosecute those behind the violence.

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