ICC sets new date for Uhuru, Muthaura

Friday March 18 2011

FILE  |  NATION International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

FILE | NATION International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.  

By OLIVER MATHENGE

The International Criminal Court Pre-Trial Chamber II has changed the appearance date for three of the poll chaos suspects.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Postmaster-General Hussein Ali and Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura will appear before it on April 8 at 4.30pm Kenyan time.

“The Chamber notes that it has received recent information that during the afternoon of April 7, 2011, the Courts’ rooms are occupied with hearings related to the Trial Chambers. Accordingly, the Chamber considers it necessary to fix an alternative date and time to hold the said hearing,” the judges said on Friday evening in a statement on the ICC website.

The other suspects, Mr William Ruto, Mr Henry Kosgey and Mr Joshua Sang will go before the court on April 7, at 11.30am as planned earlier.

Meanwhile, a battle for information filed by victims of Kenya’s election violence has intensified at The Hague with the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence also seeking access.

But unlike International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the Office for the Defence has asked the Pre-Trial Chamber II to evaluate the information and decide what can be disclosed to other participants.

Responding to Mr Moreno-Ocampo’s request to access a report on victims’ participation filed by the court’s registry, the Office for the Defence’s principal counsel, Mr Xavier Jean Keïta, told the court to sieve the information.

“The Office for the Defence requests that the chamber reviews the relevant documents to determine whether knowledge of them by participants would defeat their purpose. If not, the office requests that the documents – or portions thereof, as appropriate – should be disclosed to the participants, that is, to the prosecution and the Office for the Defence,” Mr Keïta told the three judges.

Last Saturday, Mr Moreno-Ocampo filed an application saying he should be allowed access to the report as “the prosecution does not pose any security threat to persons interacting with the court.”

The application was made a few days before judge Hans-Peter Kaul published his dissenting opinion on the Kenyan cases.

Judge Kaul seems to imply that Mr Moreno-Ocampo had not conducted independent investigations and relied on the same human rights reports presented to support his case.

The judge’s opinion and the prosecutor’s move could act as fodder for the defence to argue that Mr Moreno-Ocampo was using the opportunity to use the victims’ representations to strengthen his case instead of conducting investigations.

On February 4, the court’s registrar filed its first periodic report on the Activities of the Victims Participation and Reparations Section in the Kenyan Situation.

On February 24, the prosecution was put on notice that the registry had filed the report, which remains ex-parte to the registry.