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Jubilee accuses ICC of plot to ignite violence in Kenya

THE HAGUE TRIAL
By Michael Ollinga | December 21st 2015

More than 50 Jubilee coalition leaders have hit out at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and civil society accusing them of working towards destabilising the country.

Speaking in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County at a prayer meeting for Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang, the leaders accused ICC of politicising the case of crimes against humanity facing the two.

Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki said ICC is the greatest threat to prosperity and stability of Kenya since it has failed to ensure justice prevails over the individual interests of some members of the international community.

"The ICC, civil society and the Western states should know that Mr Ruto is an important leader of the people of Kenya. There have been several botched attempts to illegally criminalise him due to lack of evidence, and we will not allow further disruption," said Prof Kindiki.

The Tharaka Nithi senator reiterated that they would not allow use of recanted statements in Ruto's prosecution, saying local leaders who travelled to The Hague to resolve the application of Rule 68 in the Kenyan cases during the Assembly of State Parties (ASP), had managed to disprove the court's ruling.

The ASP held that Rule 68 on recanted evidence should not be applicable to cases brought before it came into force, Ruto and Sang's cases being among them. It, however, left it to the ICC Appeals Chamber to decide the applicability of the rule in Ruto's case.

Fabricated case

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said the case against the two was fabricated, and that witnesses were coached to issue false testimonies, which they later recanted leaving the court with no option but to find other means to prove its worth.

"The case against the DP and Sang is like a film whose actors refused to be cast because they disagreed with the outcome of the production. ICC and its local agents in civil society must know that we cannot allow our country to be brought down by a fabricated case," he said.

He added: "The court tried to apply Rule 68 without following standard legal procedures so that they could criminalise Ruto, we cannot accept to play to a tune by a court that doesn't respect legal procedures."

Nominated Senator Martha Wangare said Kenyans had sought forgiveness from each other and agreed to coexist, and expressed concern that the pending cases may drag the country back to the days of enmity.

Nandi Senator Stephen Sang called on ICC's Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to forget applying Rule 68, which allows use of recanted witness statements against accused persons in Ruto's matter.

"The court must consider the voice of the recent ASP resolution and stop applying Rule 68 to the Kenyan cases pending the ruling of the prosecution's appeal that recanted witness statements be used," he said.

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