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Six Kenyans accused of rape, murder and torture

Wednesday December 15 2010

A fresh team will be appointed to lead Kenya’s efforts to seek the UN Security Council’s support to defer the Ocampo Six trial at The Hague over the post-election violence. Photo/FILE

A fresh team will be appointed to lead Kenya’s efforts to seek the UN Security Council’s support to defer the Ocampo Six trial at The Hague over the post-election violence. Photo/FILE 

By OLIVER MATHENGE [email protected] AND WALTER MENYA [email protected]

Charges of murder, forced evictions, rape, torture and persecution await the six suspects named by International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Wednesday.

The ODM group of Eldoret North William Ruto, Industrialisation minister Henry Kosgey and journalist Joshua arap Sang will each face charges of murder, deportation or forcible transfer of the people, causing serious injury and persecution based on political affiliation.

The PNU group consisting of deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, head of Public Service Francis Muthaura and former police commissioner Hussein Ali will face similar charges.

Their actions, Mr Moreno-Ocampo says, resulted in more than 1,100 people being killed, 3,500 injured and more than 600,000 being displaced from their homes. The prosecutor accuses Mr Ruto and Mr Kosgey of planning attacks against PNU supporters as far back as December 2006.

The prosecutor says that Mr Sang used his radio programme to collect supporters and provide signals to members of the plan on when and where to attack.

“Their two goals were: (1) to gain power in the Rift Valley Province and ultimately in the Republic of Kenya, and (2) to punish and expel from the Rift Valley those perceived to support the PNU,” Mr Moreno-Ocampo’s application says.

Immediately after President Kibaki was announced as the winner of the 2007 presidential election, Mr Moreno-Ocampo adds, thousands of members of the network put together by the three accused began to execute their plan by attacking PNU supporters.

He states that on December 30 and 31, they attacked several locations including Turbo Town, the greater Eldoret area (Huruma, Kimumu, Langas, and Yamumbi), Kapsabet Town, and Nandi Hills Town.

“They approached each location from all directions, burning down PNU supporters’ homes and businesses, killing civilians, and systematically driving them from their homes,” the application reads.

The three are accused of coordinating the burning of the Kiambaa church where at least 17 people died.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo says in his application that all the attacks occurred in a uniform fashion. The perpetrators gathered at designated meeting points outside of locations selected for attack, he says.

“There, they met coordinators, who organised the perpetrators into groups with assigned tasks. Perpetrators then attacked target locations. Some perpetrators approached on foot, while others were driven in trucks,” the prosecutor says.

He adds that Mr Sang helped coordinate the attacks using coded language disseminated through radio broadcasts.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo says that in response to the attacks by the three “prominent PNU members and/or Government of Kenya officials Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Mohammed Hussein Ali developed and executed a plan to attack perceived ODM supporters in order to keep the PNU in power.”

He accuses the National Security Advisory Committee, which was chaired by Mr Muthaura and where Mr Ali was a member, of authorising and deploying the police into ODM strongholds.

During the operation, he adds, the officers used excessive force against civilian protesters in Kisumu and in Kibera, Nairobi.

“As a consequence, between the end of December 2007 and the middle of January 2008, the Kenyan Police Forces indiscriminately shot at and killed more than a hundred ODM supporters in Kisumu and Kibera,” the application reads.

The three are also accused of developing a different tactic to retaliate against the attacks on PNU supporters.

The application says that on or about January 3, 2008 Mr Kenyatta, as the focal point between the PNU and the Mungiki criminal organisation, facilitated a meeting with Mr Muthaura and Mungiki leaders to organise retaliatory attacks against civilian supporters of the ODM.

“Thereafter, Mr Muthaura, in his capacity as Chairman of the National Security Advisory Committee, telephoned Mr Ali, his subordinate as head of the Kenya Police, and instructed Mr Ali not to interfere with the movement of pro-PNU youths, including the Mungiki,” reads the application.

Mr Kenyatta is said to have also instructed the Mungiki leaders to attend a second meeting on the same day to finalise logistical and financial arrangements for the retaliatory attacks.

Civilian supporters

It was after this that the application says there was an attack on ODM civilian supporters in Nakuru and Naivasha during the last week of January 2008.

It adds that during these raids, the attackers identified ODM supporters by going from door to door and by setting up road blocks for intercepting vehicles, killing over 150 ODM supporters.

The third charge concerns rape and other sexual attacks, which Mr Muthaura, Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ali are accused of committing or contributing to their commission.