Wako files appeal against ICC ruling

Monday June 6 2011

Photo/FILE  Attorney General Amos Wako.

Photo/FILE Attorney General Amos Wako.  

By BENJAMIN MUINDI

Attorney General Amos Wako has lodged an appeal to overturn a decision by the International Criminal Court to quash an application to have Kenyan cases before it brought back home.

“The government of Kenya’s appeal is based on errors in procedure and in law,” said Mr Wako on Monday.

He noted that the denial of oral hearing by the Pre-Trial Chamber meant that the government was not in a position to explain factual disputes that might only be resolved by attending to, and weighing, oral evidence “as has turned out to be the case.”

Serious error

In a statement posted at the ICC website, Mr Wako said: “It was a serious error of the Pre-Trial Chamber not to allow the Kenya Government to make oral public representations about the procedure that it would have been appropriate to follow in the admissibility case.”

“By refusing an application for a “Status Conference” and declining, the government an oral hearing may reflect an unfortunate misunderstanding as between the government and the chamber.”

Secondly, Mr Wako noted that on the errors of fact may arise from “the proposition that there is a ‘universe’ of evidence about the post-election violence in Kenya that was only available to the government, “and only part - almost certainly a different part - available to the prosecutor of the ICC.”

Last week the pre-trial chamber judges rejected the government’s attempt to convince the court that it was serious about investigating and punishing election violence . (READ: Judges reject Kenya bid to save suspects)

Judges appeared puzzled by the government’s claims to be investigating the cases without providing any proof.

In one case, the government gave the court a letter from the Attorney-General ordering the Police Commissioner to investigate suspected masterminds of the violence.

However, the letter was written after the government filed the case to have the Ocampo Six tried at home.

Judges, in their ruling, also noted that Kenya is short on measures already taken to punish impunity despite promises of future action.