A former Kenyan appellate judge has been elected presiding judge in the Darfur case at the International Criminal Court.
Justice Joyce Aluoch was elected by her peers to be the lead judge in the case at The Hague against Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus over their alleged crimes in the Darfur region of Sudan.
The case was referred to the three judges by the presidency of the ICC after constituting Trial Chamber IV on March 16.
The other judges on the bench are Fatoumata Dembele Diarra and Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi.
According to a statement posted on the ICC website, Pre-Trial Chamber I found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Banda and Jerbo are criminally responsible as co-perpetrators or as indirect co-perpetrators for three war crimes under the Rome Statute.
The charges against the accused include murder, intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission; and pillaging.
Justice Aluoch was elected to the International Criminal Court in The Hague in January 2009.
She was picked during elections held in New York at the Seventh session of the Association of State Parties to the Rome Statue, where she garnered 100 votes out of the 107 cast. She is the first Kenyan to sit at the court.
The elections attracted 18 candidates, out of which six were picked. The other five judges were from Botswana, Japan, Guyana, Italy and Belgium. The Foreign Affairs Ministry termed her election as "an achievement that does this country proud".
Her nine-year term as an ICC judge started on March 11, 2009.