By BEAUTTAH OMANGA
Residents raised concerns once again whether ICC would summon President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga during trials, as they were key players in the disputed elections.
The ICC field outreach co-ordinator for Kenya, Maria Kamara, put up a strong defence of the new Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda following inquiries over her ability to deliver justice.
A participant wanted assurance that Ms Bensouda would be strong and aggressive like her predecessor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
“Bensouda has a long history of punishing injustice to fellow human beings and there is no reason anybody should doubt her ability. Issues on human rights, more so those concerning women and children, are dear to her. She has been a deputy to Moreno-Ocampo for many years and she has the necessary experience to deliver justice,” said Ms Kamara.
Residents also sought to know why the office of the prosecutor hurriedly preferred charges against six Kenyans, only to ask for more time to put together evidence. The court dropped charges against two suspects, Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey and former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali. But Kamara allayed fears that the ICC might summon the principals saying “such a move would entirely depend on either the prosecution or the defence teams but not the court itself”.
“The ICC is a court like any other and it does not pre-determine the course of a case and who presents what evidence. On whether so-and-so will be called, that’s not for the court to decide,” she said.
Kamara reiterated that the court would not be sucked into Kenyan politics on whether two suspects facing trial should stand for presidential elections.
She, however, maintained that even if Eldoret North MP William Ruto or Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta are elected president, their trials at the ICC would still proceed to conclusion.
The official explained that while it was not within the ICC’s mandate to decide for Kenyans who to elect president, the court’s procedures, including trials, must continue to their conclusion regardless of the suspects’ status at the time.