Kenya court declines man’s request against ICC

Thursday October 28 2010

Mr Gathungu said that the new Constitution did not authorise the ICC to investigate and try perpetrators of the post-2007 General Election violence. Photo/FILE

Mr Gathungu said that the new Constitution did not authorise the ICC to investigate and try perpetrators of the post-2007 General Election violence. Photo/FILE 

By PHILIP MUYANGA pmuyanga@ke.nationmedia.com

A businessman seeking to stop the International Criminal Court from operating in the country on Thursday suffered a setback when the High Court declined to grant his request.

Mr Joseph Gathungu, through lawyer Gikandi Ngibuini, wanted the court to direct the Office of the President and the ministers for Justice and Foreign Affairs to stop the ICC from conducting its operations until the court rules on preliminary objections raised by an organisation representing interests of post-election violence victims.

Mr Ngibuini said the ICC had been moving at a “supersonic speed” from the time the matter was filed in court and that if not restricted “many things will happen”.

The lawyer had urged the court to take judicial notice of matters of common knowledge that the Internal Security minister was in the process of gazetting rules that would enable some people to record statements.

While rejecting the application when the matter came before him on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Justice Jackton Ojwang’ said all temporary injunction orders must be realistic. He described the situation on the ground as complex and elaborate.

The judge noted that the ICC process was in progress and that the application had been made after it had started. He said that the court would issue orders later after the merits of the suit were looked upon.

Mr Gathungu said that the new Constitution did not authorise the ICC to investigate and try perpetrators of the post-2007 General Election violence.

The Centre for Justice for Victims of Crimes Against Humanity had earlier raised the preliminary objections, which it said if admitted by the court would be sufficient to dispose of the entire proceedings.