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Uhuru, Ruto appeal on at The Hague

Sunday January 29 2012

By BERNARD NAMUNANE [email protected]

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto will on Monday file notices of appeal against the ICC ruling that they be charged for crimes against humanity over the 2007/08 post-election violence.

Former Civil Service boss Francis Muthaura and Kass FM presenter Joshua Sang will also file appeals against the verdict of the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber.

Sources said the notices will be filed in two parts. The first, which will be submitted to the three-judge bench led by Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova which delivered the ruling, is meant to inform the International Criminal Court of the intentions and grounds on which they want to contest the verdict.

The Pre-Trial Chamber will either allow or reject the request by the defence teams to appeal against the ruling. Monday is the last day for the defence teams to file appeal notifications. (READ: Kenyan suspects to appeal against ICC ruling)

The second notice, which will be directed to the ICC Appeals Chamber, will seek to challenge the global court’s jurisdiction over the crimes that were committed during the post-election violence.

If allowed, the defence teams will formally appeal against the charges before a separate court which will be set up by the ICC president.

The appeals will be filed as a 10-member team of legal experts meets at the Attorney-General’s chambers to start its work of advising the government on the options available following the ruling. (READ: Kibaki orders AG to form probe team on ICC ruling)

On Sunday, sources said Mr Kenyatta’s defence team concluded its work on the appeal documents on Friday and submitted them to The Hague.

Defence teams for Mr Ruto, Mr Muthaura and Mr Sang will submit notices seeking leave to appeal on Monday.

Lawyer Katwa-Kigen who acts for both Mr Ruto and Mr Sang confirmed they will file their appeals on Monday.

“We will file the two appeals separately tomorrow (Monday),” he said and declined to give details on the grounds of their appeal.

However, it is understood that the appeals will challenge the jurisdiction of the ICC over the crimes that were committed during the violence which engulfed the country following the December 2007 disputed presidential election results.

At least 1,133 people were killed and more than 650,000 others displaced from their homes.

Mr Ruto’s defence team will challenge the confirmation of charges ruling, arguing that the evidence submitted by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo was not adequate to commit him to trial.

Lawyers for Mr Muthaura will also file two notices on Monday, one on jurisdiction and the other challenging confirmation of charges ruling.

It is understood they will hinge their challenge on grounds that the outlawed Mungiki sect, which is the basis for the charges does not qualify as an organisation under the Rome Statute.

Part of this argument is contained in the dissenting ruling by German Judge Hans-Peter Kaul who stated that militia groups without a government component do not qualify as organisations under the ICC rules.

Last Monday, Judges Trendafilova and Cuno Tarfusser ruled that the prosecutor has presented adequate evidence to commit Mr Kenyatta, Mr Ruto, Mr Muthaura and Mr Sang to trial.

However, Judge Kaul dissented, declaring that the crimes should be tried by Kenyan courts.

The judges unanimously dropped charges against Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey and Postmaster General Hussein Ali.