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Uhuru, Ruto seeking to scuttle Hague trials, says Raila

Monday March 12 2012

Youth demonstrate armed with crude weapons at the height of the post-election violence. PHOTO I FILE

Youth demonstrate armed with crude weapons at the height of the post-election violence. PHOTO I FILE 

By Nation Reporter

Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Monday upped his attacks against Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto, accusing the pair of using "forged documents" to lay ground for absconding trials at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Mr Odinga, in a second statement released by the Raila Odinga secretariat, declared himself the biggest loser of the post-election violence after being denied "his rightful position as the elected President of Kenya".

The Prime Minister accused Mr Ruto and Mr Kenyatta of fronting forged documents to suck him into the ICC saga.

This was in reference to documents read out in Parliament by MP Charles Kilonzo to allege of a British conspiracy to influence the outcome of the ICC process. (READ: UK accused of seeking Kibaki trial at ICC)

"No public petulance on their part can substitute for the court process. Nor can forged documents and the besmirching of innocent persons’ reputations assist them.

"It is clear that the present posturing against the ICC, complete with the weaving in of the PM’s name and that of the British Government, is a dress rehearsal for non-cooperation with the ICC. It is clear that the foundation is being laid for the accused to refuse to attend trials of the cases against them," he said.

Mr Odinga pointed at "forces with a selfish agenda" for taking advantage of the protest that followed the botched 2007 general election to perpetrate the post-election violence.

He claimed that the same forces have continually been sabotaging the coalition government, including frustrating efforts to establish a local tribunal to deal with perpetrators of post-election chaos.

"The beneficiaries of the 2008 injustice have shown they will stop at nothing to frustrate reform and justice," Mr Odinga said in the statement.

"It is this spirit of impunity that frustrated efforts to establish a local tribunal to deal with post-election violence. Parliament was mobilised to defeat the Constitutional amendment that sought to do this, with the main perpetrators cunningly creating the false impression that they sought real justice, and could only achieve it through the ICC. The reality is that they did not wish the matter to be addressed at all – locally or otherwise."

The Prime Minister sought to frame the upcoming election as a contest between reformed governance and impunity.

"The time has come when every one of us must stand up to be counted. Either you are for the rule of law, or you are for impunity. It can’t be both. A choice must be made," said the statement.

"It is up to each Kenyan, therefore, to search his or her soul and decide where they stand. The choice is between the law and impunity."