Kibaki furious over Ocampo’s evidence
Posted Saturday, August 20 2011 at 22:00
- Defence teams also frustrated by new claims only a few days to the confirmation hearings
Anger and frustration greeted International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s disclosure of his last bundle of evidence against three eminent Kenyans facing crimes against humanity cases at The Hague.
Sources told the Sunday Nation that President Kibaki and his allies were on Saturday furious over the allegations that State House facilitated the post-election violence.
State House has denied the allegations.
The prosecutor’s State House allegations are being interpreted in some quarters as targeting its chief tenant, the President. Notably, one of the suspects, Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura is the President’s permanent secretary and confidant.
However, Mr Moreno-Ocampo is on record saying that he had no evidence linking President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to the violence.
The disclosure late on Friday set off crisis meetings by defence lawyers who seemed to have been taken by surprise by Mr Moreno-Ocampo’s latest evidence. Our inquiries returned a picture of disillusionment by those around Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr Muthaura and Post-Master General Hussein Ali.
The prosecutor seems to have caught the suspects and their defence teams off-guard when he confronted them with new evidence only a few days to the confirmation hearings next month, effectively returning them to the drawing board.
A source at State House told the Sunday Nation that the “mood had changed” in the official presidential residence following Mr Moreno-Ocampo’s Friday allegations (Read: Dossier links State House to chaos) that the place was used as a base of planning retaliatory attacks by Mungiki in Nakuru and Naivasha during the post-election violence.
Besides, the prosecutor’s narrative took a dramatic turn when it appeared to implicate Kenya’s military in the 2008 post-election violence saying that Mungiki members were transported from State House to Naivasha in military trucks.
There were strong indications that the defence teams may apply for more time to review the new evidence ahead of the confirmation hearings.
“The case has fundamentally changed. We have to change tack because Mr Moreno-Ocampo has shifted goal posts and radically altered his prosecution theory in this case,” said a source close to one of the suspects who spoke under the cover of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
He pointed out that the prosecutor seemed determined to push the case to trial.
Already, Mr Kenyatta and Maj-Gen Ali’s lawyer’s who have lost a long list of battles with the prosecutor in the past couple of months, have cried foul over the process claiming it was being used to “rubber-stamp” charges against the suspects.
A picture emerges in which successes of defence teams have been decreasing in the run up to the confirmation of charges hearings, an issue that is causing discomfort.
Just last week, they lost the battle to have the number of witnesses increased from two.
The suspects’ effort to have the hours accorded to the witnesses increased was also rejected.
Earlier, an application by lawyers for Eldoret North William Ruto and Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey to have the hearings postponed was defeated. Moreover, Judge Ekaterina Frendiflova has so far not allowed any application for leave of appeal.