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Ocampo wanted Ali to testify against Uhuru

By Moses Nyamori | Published Fri, June 24th 2016 at 00:00, Updated June 24th 2016 at 11:11 GMT +3
Former ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo

Fresh details have emerged on how the International Criminal Court (ICC) attempted to lure former police boss Hussein Ali to testify against President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The fresh revelations indicate the prosecution, then led by Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, reached out to Major General Ali to testify against Uhuru and former Head of the Public Service Francis Muthaura.

This was on promise that charges against him would be dropped. But the former police boss rejected the bait.

The turn-around by the ICC to dismiss Ali’s charges on the condition was premised on developments in Kenya after Attorney General Amos Wako barred the police from speaking to the ICC.

Several other police officers who participated in the 2007/08 post-election chaos had also died mysteriously.

Mr Ocampo was reportedly desperate for evidence, partly because some witnesses had been eliminated while others were no longer willing to testify because of alleged threats on their lives.

According to the US-based newspaper, The New York Times, Ocampo admitted that evidence against Uhuru over his alleged involvement in the post-election chaos was not as tight as he would have liked it to be.

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And because of the scanty evidence that threatened conviction of any of the suspects accused of masterminding the violence, Ocampo turned former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga into a witness.

Initially, the Prosecution had considered charging Mr Njenga alongside other Kenyans accused of the chaos that saw over 1,200 killed and 500,000 displaced from their homes.

Death threats

Ocampo heavily relied on testimony by the outlawed sect members, which informed his decision to switch Njenga from the suspects’ fold to a witness.

Njenga, according to the report, had told ICC investigators how his group was involved in the violence. He had also detailed the structure of the outlawed group.

Njenga did not testify in the proceedings despite expressing his willingness.

The former prosecutor said although some of the sect members had been killed in “a clean-up operation”, others were still willing to testify. The crux of his evidence was on three “confidential Mungiki linkage”.

In spite of relying on the sect members’ evidence, Ocampo failed to question Uhuru on the statement made by Njenga.

He told The New York Times that the decision was because Njenga was already receiving death threats, therefore he did not want to expose him further. “I didn’t think I should expose Maina Njenga,” the paper quoted Ocampo saying.

According to the magazine, some of the lawyers in the Ocampo’s team admitted feeling embarrassed by how Ocampo cross-examined Uhuru.

The newspaper described Ocampo as “uncharacteristically awkward and hesitant. His queries were aimless”.

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