Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ocampo Six to know fate by year-end

CLOCKWISE: Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura, Isaac Ruto , Joshua Sang, Hussein Ali and Henry Kosgei

CLOCKWISE: Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura, Isaac Ruto , Joshua Sang, Hussein Ali and Henry Kosgei  

By OLIVER MATHENGE omathenge@ke.nationmedia.com

The Ocampo Six will know at the end of the year whether the cases they are facing at The Hague over the poll chaos will go to the trial stage.

The International Criminal Court’s new head of the public affairs unit at The Hague, Mr Fadi El Abdallah, said that the close of oral hearings in the cases was not the end as judges may ask for written submissions thereafter.

“There has been confusion on when the 60 days by which the judges should have decided on the cases starts, thus people are likely to make a misinformed assumption on the dates to expect the decision,” Mr Abdallah said.

He explained that the oral hearings for the case against radio presenter Joshua Sang and suspended ministers William Ruto and Henry Kosgey would close on September 20 but the judges may ask the parties for more information in writing.

If the judges are satisfied with the oral submissions, the three would know whether they will go to trial by November 20 but the date may be later if the judges ask the parties for more information.

The oral hearing of the case against Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Civil Service head Francis Muthaura and former police commissioner Hussein Ali will run from September 21 to October 11.

The three will then know their fate as early as December 20 or later if the judges ask for more information.

The long process could be an additional headache for Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto who have declared interest in the presidency in next year’s election.

Mr Abdallah also explained that the evidence produced by prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo was not all that he had as the scope of the September hearings was limited.

The prosecutor may produce more evidence if the cases go to trial.

“The pre-trial stage does not decide whether the suspect is guilty or not. Its purpose is to gauge the strength of the evidence the prosecutor has and decide whether it is enough to take to trial,” Mr Abdallah said.

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