State bid to access Ocampo files flops
Posted Thursday, May 31 2012 at 22:30
The International Criminal Court has blocked the government from accessing evidence collected by prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo for use in local trials of the perpetrators of the 2007/8 post-election violence.
The Pre-Trial Chamber judges also declined to give a ruling on whether the government would be allowed representation when the trial of the Ocampo Four begins.
The rejection of the government’s appeal means it is now up to local investigators to gather their own evidence to use in the more than 3,500 cases being reviewed by a team appointed by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
In a ruling delivered on Wednesday, the judges dismissed the application by government lawyers to appeal against a decision rejecting Kenya’s bid to access the evidence.
Judges Ekaterina Trendafilova, Cuno Tarfusser and Has-Peter Kaul were categorical that Kenya could only be allowed to appeal if the matter in question touched on the trial of the suspects.
“The Chamber finds no need to either address in any detail the requirements or engage with the merits of the application. The chamber hereby rejects the application,” they said in a joint ruling.
The dismissal, the third since government lawyers Geoffrey Nice and Rodney Dixon first filed the application to access the evidence in April 2011, closes all windows the government could use to stop the trial of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr William Ruto, Mr Francis Muthaura and Mr Joshua arap Sang.
The Pre-Trial Chamber first dismissed the application on June 29, 2011, while the Appeals Chamber rejected the request on August 10, 2011.
Sir Geoffrey and Mr Dixon challenged the Chamber’s dismissal of their application on grounds that the judges had wrongly stated that there was no proof of on-going local investigations into the violence.
Visiting United States Senator Christopher Coons yesterday said the ICC cases should proceed.