Jubilee: ICC erred on DP William Ruto’s case

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi shares a word with Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony during a fundraising event at Kipetere Secondary School in Soin/Sigowet constituency.

BOMET: Jubilee leaders have vowed to ensure the case against Deputy President William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is dropped.

Speaking in different forums over the weekend, the leaders criticised ICC judges for allowing the prosecution to use evidence that was sourced from “questionable witnesses”.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and his deputy Joyce Laboso, who were in Kericho County, said the Government will not rest until the DP is free from ICC. They said the ICC has proven to be a political court.

Leaders from Mt Kenya region said the judges’ decision was a violation of the international law and went against the Rome Statutes.

Muturi said the country was collectively shocked by the decision of the ICC Appeals Chamber to admit prior recorded statements that formed part of the evidence in the case.

“As a lawyer, I find it strange that such a high-level court can place a senior democratically elected leader to face trial based on that kind of evidence. Nonetheless, we have faith in the deputy president’s defence counsel,” he said.

Laboso said though the new development was a surprise, Kenyans’ prayers would help Ruto overcome it.

“President Kenyatta and his deputy took over the reins of power on a negative note but Kenyans’ prayers have led them to overcome the challenges,” she said.

They made the remarks during a fundraiser at Kiptere Secondary School in Soin/Sigowet constituency. Governor Paul Chepkwony and MPs among them area legislator Justice Kemei, Benjamin Langat (Ainamoi), Leonard Sang (Bureti) and Endebess MP Robert Puko attended the function.

Muturi also assured that although there were challenges in moving from the old constitutional order to the new one, they would be overcome.

Back door

Mt Kenya leaders, among them Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi), condemned the ICC for what they termed as violation of the international law and going against the Rome Statutes.

Kindiki faulted the ICC for “undermining justice” against the DP, saying the ICC has disrespected Kenya as a member.

“Kenya cannot be denied justice through back-door prosecution. If Fatou Bensouda is unable to continue with the case, let her withdraw it rather than use the back door to prosecute our leaders,” he said.

He opposed the use of controversial statements admitted as evidence, arguing they would prejudice the trial against the DP and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang.

Elgeyo/Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen argued that allowing the statements would not change the situation. He said Kenya would persuade other African countries to get out of the Rome Statute if Africans would not be respected by the ICC.

Other leaders who backed Ruto were MPs Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Muriuki Njagagua (Mbeere North) and Mpuru M’Aburi (Tigania East).

They were speaking at Ura-Gate in Tharaka North sub-county yesterday during the closing of the annual Tharaka cultural festival.

In Nakuru County, MPs Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), Joseph Kiuna (Njoro) and Molo’s Jacob Macharia termed the decision a ploy by ICC to force a regime change in Kenya.

“The ICC is on a mission to ensure a regime change come 2017 by trying to cause divisions in Jubilee. Bensouda thinks by trying to go against Ruto, she will change the minds of Kenyans on President Kenyatta and his deputy. But we want to assure her that this will not happen,” said Ngunjiri.

Kiuna said the move by the judges would cause unnecessary tension in the Rift Valley region, which has healed after the post-election violence.

Macharia said the ICC was not after getting justice for the post-election violence victims but to install certain leaders by jailing innocent people.

Bomet East MP Bernard Bett who was addressing a different meeting in Longisa said ICC has proven to be a political court.

“It is clear ICC has lost in its attempt to link the DP to the violence. It was clear that there was no case at all and now it has opted for recanted statements,” said Bett.