Ocampo Four get reprieve on appeals
ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo will not oppose the request by four Kenyan suspects to delay two cases against them.
The defence teams want the cases delayed until their appeals on jurisdiction are concluded.
Mr Moreno-Ocampo (right) wrote to the judges, saying that although there were some who wanted a trial before the General Election, it was important for the appeals to be determined first.
He said that even if the trial was to begin today, it would not be concluded before March 2013.
The prosecutor said the court should continue with its work in accordance with judicial rules, and that it should not be expected to define the coming electoral process.
He told the judges that it was up to Kenyans to define who the candidates were and who would be elected.
“In any event, the Court’s processes must not be influenced by Kenyan domestic politics. This is the exclusive domain of the Kenyan people.
The court decision on the confirmation of charges found substantial grounds to believe the alleged responsibility of some Kenyan leaders for the crimes committed during the post-electoral violence in 2007/2008,” said Mr Moreno-Ocampo in his filing made on Wednesday.
Two of the accused, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, have asked the court to delay the commencement of trial until their appeals are determined.
The matter is expected to come up on June 12 when their legal teams will appear at The Hague for a status conference.
Mr Moreno-Ocampo told the judges that the prosecution chose not to oppose the defence request, provided that the accused submitted written undertakings to appear for trial, whenever scheduled.
The defence teams of the other two accused, Eldoret North William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang, will be at The Hague on June 11. During the status conferences, the judges will give the date when the trials will start.
Mr Ruto and Mr Kenyatta have expressed interest in the presidency in the March 4, 2013, election.
In his Wednesday filing, Mr Moreno-Ocampo also said that he was concerned about the security of witnesses and their families.
He said the identities of witnesses be disclosed to the defence only after the jurisdictional appeal is resolved, when it is certain that the two cases will proceed to trial.
“Recently, the prosecution has had to investigate several cases of witness tampering and purported witness exposure, including media reports, videos and internet posts which claim to have exposed the identities of protected witnesses,” said Mr Moreno-Ocampo.