Prove your innocence at Hague, Ocampo Six told

Wednesday March 23 2011

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said the Ocampo Six should not fear facing the International Criminal Court to absolve themselves of being behind the post election violence March 23, 2011. FILE

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said the Ocampo Six should not fear facing the International Criminal Court to absolve themselves of being behind the post election violence March 23, 2011. FILE 

By NJERI RUGENE

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said the Ocampo Six should not fear facing the International Criminal Court to absolve themselves “instead of shouting all over the place about their innocence".

In one of his hardest hitting statement on the ICC controversy in the recent past, Mr Odinga said it was sad that justice for the 1,133 Kenyans “who were killed like rats’’ in the election violence had been ignored as some leaders inundate the political scene with statements of support for the suspect and and their claim to innocence.

“We cannot all the time be talking about the innocence of the six. More than 1,300 Kenyans were killed, some were burnt in a church and in Naivasha others were shot. Justice for them must also be done. 

"That innocence of the six must be proved through a fair judicial process. If you are mentioned, go through the process,’’ Mr Odinga while responding to a question by Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo during the Prime Minister’s time in Parliament Wednesday.

“If you are a suspect do not tell us you are innocent. Go and clear your name there (at the Hague),’’ he said in reference to the Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura, Postmaster General Hussein Ali, Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey, his Eldoret North counterpart William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua Sang.

He cited his own experience when he was arrested and detained at Kamiti Maximum Prison for six months over treason charges following the 1982 attempted coup.

“I went through the torture and difficulties and bad conditions at the prison for six months because my conscience was clear, I was innocent but did not have to shout about it,’’ he told the House.

He restated that ODM's position has been for a referral of the Kenyan case where the six and any other perpetrators would be tried through a credible judicial mechanism.

The local judicial mechanism he said, must be credible with investigations done by foreign investigators such as the FBI and Scotland Yard and prosecutors picked through a transparent process.

“As for now the Kenya police, cannot investigate because they also stand accused of perpetrating the criminality through shootings and killings,’’ he said.

He discounted reports that his party had changed its position on the ICC trials.

“ODM has never contradicted itself. This is the position we have always held."

He explained that the party is of the view that the country moves ahead to create a credible court or tribunal to try the suspects and then apply for referral.

“As far as we are concerned, a deferral will be of no use to the accused persons because it will be done for only one year leaving them with a stigma of charges hanging around their necks,’’ said Mr Odinga, the ODM party leader.

The PM also had some harsh words on those behind the shuttle diplomacy fronted by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, dismissing the effort as a total waste of public funds.

“That shuttle diplomacy that involved talking to leaders some here and there, some of whom are potential candidates for the ICC was totally uncalled for and a waste of resources,’’ he added.

Mr Kilonzo had asked the PM to explain to the House the position of ODM on ICC saying the controversy over the trials had caused concern to the investors and threatened the country’s economy.