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Victims fear cases will collapse

Wednesday January 28 2015

A woman cries outside the Kiambaa church in which several people were burnt to death during the post-election violence of 2008. The withdrawal of charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta has “cruelly frustrated” post-election violence victims, a lawyer has said. FILE PHOTO |

A woman cries outside the Kiambaa church in which several people were burnt to death during the post-election violence of 2008. Survivors of the 2008 post-election violence in Rift Valley have expressed fears that when the cases collapse their hopes for justice and compensation will be dashed. FILE PHOTO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

JOHN NJAGI
By JOHN NJAGI
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Survivors of the 2008 post-election violence in Rift Valley have expressed fears that when the cases collapse their hopes for justice and compensation will be dashed.

The victims who lost breadwinners and property during the violence said the withdrawal of the case against President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Hague meant even the remaining ones were likely to be dropped.

This is according to a report released by the International Criminal Court Registrar Herman von Hebel.

Out of the six cases that were originally taken to The Hague in connection with the post-election violence, only two remain: That of Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang.

Those who suffered in the Rift Valley, now hope that the ongoing cases against the duo, would be concluded, as any hopes of receiving justice, depends on the cases continuing.

Seventy four victims were interviewed in the past two months during which the report was compiled.

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KNOWN TO COURT REGISTRY

About 800 victims in the case against Mr Ruto are known to the court’s registry. Of particular concern, according to the report by the victim’s representative, is the recantation of evidence by several witnesses, which they feel jeopardises the cases.

“The victims we spoke to are willing to become witnesses in the case since it is their only hope for justice,” says the report.

During the period, the legal representative said, he met eight victims, one of them for the first time, and registered to participate in the case against Mr Ruto.

The report by Mr Von Hebel is in compliance with the court’s direction on victims’ representation on October 3, 2012 to file a report on the victims’ situation, every two months.

The representative also met with eight Kikuyu victims in Nairobi, including one who was interviewed for the first time.

The newly-registered victim, and his family, was allegedly displaced from his home, lost all his household goods, livestock and his house burnt.

The group also told the court officials that there were still many victims living in camps in Central Kenya. The victims were transported and dumped there and have not been resettled despite petitions to the government, says the report.