By WAHOME THUKU
Moreno-Ocampo on Wednesday filed his response to the appeals lodged by the four, who are clustered in two separate cases, with the ICC Appeals Chamber.
The prosecutor, whose term ends in June, is asking the five judge-Bench to send the cases against Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, former Head of Public Service, Francis Muthaura, Eldoret North MP, William Ruto, and Kass FM head of operations Joshua arap Sang to the Trial Chamber.
That application if granted could have grave consequences particularly for Uhuru and Ruto, who are in the race to succeed President Kibaki. It could mean the General Election might find the two facing full trial at The Hague. This could complicate their presidential ambitions.
It could just be the breaking point in their quest for president, as it could be argued, assuming they lose the appeal against full trial, they would have to wait until the judgement is delivered.
So far 14 cases, all from seven African countries, have been taken before the ICC. Four of them with 10 suspects have reached the trial stage. None of the trials has started earlier than a year after the confirmation of the charges.
A full trial in the Kenya cases would thus find Uhuru and Ruto either in government or outside as ordinary citizens â depending on how their individual political ambitions will turn out. The new Constitution does not create a soft landing for presidential race losers.
The four suspects are facing charges of crimes against humanity, arising from the 2007-2008 post-election violence.
Two judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber confirmed the charges on January 23. One judge, Hans Peter Kaul, dissented holding that the threshold of an "organisation policy" in the violence was not established in the two cases.
Uhuru and Muthaura have filed a joint appeal while Ruto and Sang have filed the second. Each of the groups has filed four main grounds of appeal.
Uhuru and Muthaura argue partly that the Pre-Trial Chamber that committed them to full trial erred by adopting incorrect interpretation of the term "organisation and by considering Mungiki to be an organisation under Article 7(2)(a) of the Rome Statute.