Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Poll: 61pc of Kenyans prefer ICC trials

Synovate lead researcher Tom Wolf addresses journalists at the firm's offices in Nairobi April 5, 2011. A majority of Kenyans want the Ocampo Six to stand trial at the International Criminal Court, a new opinion poll released April 5, 2011 shows. WILLIAM OERI

Synovate lead researcher Tom Wolf addresses journalists at the firm's offices in Nairobi April 5, 2011. A majority of Kenyans want the Ocampo Six to stand trial at the International Criminal Court, a new opinion poll released April 5, 2011 shows. WILLIAM OERI 

By WALTER MENYA

A majority of Kenyans want the Ocampo Six to stand trial at the International Criminal Court, a new opinion poll shows.

Of those polled, 61 percent said they prefer the suspected masterminds of Kenya's post election violence to answer charges at The Hague-based court, the survey by research firm Synovate and released Tuesday showed.

This represents a marginal one percent increase from a December 2010 poll where 60pc backed the ICC process.

Conversely, 24pc of the respondents said they favoured local trials through a Special Tribunal to try the suspects of the chaos that left 1,133 people dead and a further 650,000 people uprooted from their homes.

The poll also revealed a strong preference among Kenyans for justice as only three percent want amnesty granted to the suspects. In the December poll, 14pc were in favour of forgiveness.

According to the survey, Kenyans were also highly aware of the Ocampo Six at 79pc.

The poll was conducted between March 27-April 1, 2010 and relied on a sample size of 2,000 respondents.

Of the six, Eldoret North MP William Ruto (91pc) was the most recognised, while radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang (60pc) was least known.

The other suspects include: Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta, head of civil service Francis Muthaura, Postmaster General Hussein Ali and Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey.

The release of the poll coincided with the day some of the Ocampo Six fly to The Hague to honour summonses issued by the Pre-Trial Chamber.

Mr Ruto, Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang will make their initial appearance at The Hague at 9:30 am (11.30 am Kenyan time) on Thursday.

Mr Kenyatta, Mr Muthaura and former police chief Ali are scheduled to appear at 2:30 pm (4.30pm) on Friday.

Charges against the six include murder, deportation, rape, inhumane acts, persecution and other acts of torture.

A further 54pc said they want those holding public office among the suspects- Mr Kenyatta, Mr Muthaura and Major General Ali- to resign from their positions of influence.

On Monday, last prayers were held for some of the suspects at Gatundu Stadium in Mr Kenyatta’s backyard.

During the prayers, former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta said justice will prevail and the innocence of the Ocampo Six will be vindicated.

“Uhuru, Ruto, Muthaura and the rest will go and come back because God sees and knows all and will render justice,” she told the crowd.

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