UK accused of seeking Kibaki trial at ICC
Posted Thursday, March 8 2012 at 22:30
Britain was on Thursday accused in Parliament of seeking to have President Kibaki indicted over the 2007/8 post-election violence.
MP Charles Kilonzo also accused the United Kingdom of propping up Prime Minister Raila Odinga and pushing for the detention of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto at the International Criminal Court.
A spokesman for the British High Commission, Mr John Bradshaw, described the allegations as preposterous.
“We don’t even bother to comment on it. We have strong respect for Kenya and our good relationship with the Kenya Government will continue,” he said.
“We do not recognise the document discussed in the Kenyan parliament today (Thursday),” he added. MPs demanded an immediate severing of relations with Kenya’s former colonial ruler.
They accused Britain of gross interference in Kenya’s affairs. Mr Kilonzo said the document indicated that the British Government preferred Mr Odinga to be the next president so that he could facilitate the handing over of President Kibaki to the ICC.
The document also indicated that the UK wants Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto arrested for allegedly threatening the security of the country through their so-called “prayer rallies” .
Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale, citing Article 35 on the right to information, said the document had also cast “aspersions” on the House Speaker, saying he had indicated to the British High Commissioner the possibility of a December election in case the two suspects were detained at the Hague.
They also accused British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who was in Kenya recently, of being involved in the conspiracy to detain Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto.
A number of MPs wanted the matter debated but deputy Speaker Farah Maalim said they must first give notice and move a substantive motion.
In his statement, Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula defended Mr Hague saying during his visit, he was keen on discussing Kenya’s reform programme and the coming elections as well as security issuestouching on Somalia.
“He said Britain will be a reliable friend and partner and will support Kenya as it continues down the path of reform,’’ Mr Wetang’ula said.
During the meeting with President Kibaki, said Mr Wetang’ula, the UK minister “made it very clear that although his country supports the ongoing International Criminal Court process, he did not wish to delve into or comment on individual cases.”
However, MPs demanded to know the relationship between Britain and Kenya in the light of contents of the documents tabled.
“Can the minister consider cutting relations with Britain and our country in light of these revelations,” said Mr Bahari Abdul, the MP for Isiolo South.