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Archive for December 15th, 2010

From army man, mail man, to suspect

Posted by Administrator on December 15, 2010

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 15 – Former Police Commissioner Major General (Rtd) Mohammed Hussein Ali who is now the Postmaster General is among six suspects whose names have been presented to the ICC pre-trial chamber judges.

Major General (Rtd) Ali who was at the helm of the country’s police force at the time Kenya experienced the worst violence following the disputed 2007 General Election is wanted for failing to put in place proper security measures at the time, to safeguard the lives of 1,500 people who were killed.

Some of them were shot dead by the police who were dispatched to various parts of the country to suppress the violence that also displaced nearly half a million other people, many of them still living in deplorable lives in camps in Central and Rift Valley Provinces.

Hundreds of women were raped and others sexually abused by police officers and mobs at the time of the violence that lasted nearly one month.

In his submission to the internationally-backed commission that investigated the causes of the post election violence in Kenya, Major General (Rtd) Ali said he was fully satisfied with the security measures he put in place at the time and would employ the same if a similar situation occurred in the country any other time.

The report which the ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo largely relied on in his investigations, blames the police for numerous omissions and commissions.

It particularly blames the former police chief for failing to take into consideration security alerts and warnings sent to them by the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) way before the elections were conducted in Kenya.

Brief Profile of Major General (Rtd) Ali

Prior to his appointment to head the police in 2004, Ali was serving in the military where he held the rank of Brigadier. He was promoted to Major General soon after his secondment to head the police force.

He was the first Police Commander to come from outside the police ranks and his appointment was significant at the time, since he was chosen to help redeem the image of the force through a structured reform process.

On his appointment, the retired military man disbanded the rogue Police Reserve Unit and launched a major onslaught on the dreaded outlawed Mungiki sect members.

The highest number of suspects running into thousands were killed during Major General (Rtd) Ali’s tenure.

On numerous occasions during his reign at Vigilance House, Major General Ali dismissed several local and international human rights reports including that of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial killings Prof Philip Alston which demanded his resignation over the arbitrary killings of the Mungiki and other robbery suspects.

Major General Ali is currently heading the Postal Corporation of Kenya, after being replaced by former General Service Unit boss Mathew Iteere who is the current police chief.

Major General (Rtd) Ali was born in 1956 in Eldoret and schooled at the Uasin Gichu School and later Korana Boys High School in Busier County.

He joined the Kenya Army in 1977 and rose through the ranks to become Brigadier in 2003 and Major General in 2005.

He has previously served as a military attaché in Zimbabwe and Uganda. He also commanded the Western Brigade of the Kenya Army Paratrooper Battalion and the Air Calvary regiment in Embanks.
 
After Mr Ocampo released the names, Major General (Rtd) Ali said he learnt of his inclusion in the list with surprise.

The retired army man said he was perplexed because before being named, the ICC prosecutor had not asked him to provide any details relating to the case “as one would expect of a professional prosecutor.”

He argued that his role during the post-election violence was a matter of public record and believes he acted professionally diligently and in accordance with the law as did officers under his command in protecting lives and property against those who were bent on destruction.

He said he has no doubts that when facts are presented in court, the allegations will be found to have no basis at all.

‘As a Kenyan who dedicated all his life to the safety and security of Kenyans, I am confident that all these false allegations will be exposed.”

Read more: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/From-army-man,-mail-man,-to-suspect-10882.html#ixzz18BtE1nxE

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Kenya’s Kibaki says won’t act yet against ICC suspects

Posted by Administrator on December 15, 2010

By James Macharia

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s president said on Wednesday he was unlikely to take any action yet against government officials named by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for sponsoring post election violence in the country.

The ICC prosecutor named three Kenyan government ministers and a former police chief among six suspects behind the east African country’s post-election violence following elections in 2007.

Analysts had said the naming of the suspects could heighten tensions in Kenya, and that changes in the cabinet could follow as leaders come under pressure to resign.

“I wish to state that the people who have been mentioned have not yet been fully investigated as the pre-trial process in The Hague has only but began,” Kibaki said in a statement.

“They therefore cannot be judged as guilty until the charges are confirmed by the court. Calls for action to be taken against them are therefore prejudicial, pre-emptive and against the rules of natural justice.”

ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo started a formal investigation in March 2010 into the violence in which 1,220 people died and more than 350,000 were displaced, severely denting Kenya’s reputation for stability.

Kibaki also reiterated plans to set up a local court to try suspects involved in the violence.

“In the meantime I wish to state that the government is fully committed to the establishment of a local tribunal to deal with those behind the post election violence, in accordance with stipulations of the new constitution,” he said

Kibaki said the government had intensified security around the country to quell any violence or street protests, especially in the Rift Valley, where three of the suspects hail from.

Source: http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE6BE0CI20101215

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Statement by President Obama on the International Criminal Court announcement

Posted by Administrator on December 15, 2010

President Barack Obama with Ambassador Elkanah Odembo and his family as the Kenyan ambassador presented his credentials earlier this year.

President Barack Obama with Ambassador Elkanah Odembo and his family as the Kenyan ambassador presented his credentials earlier this year.

Today, as the International Criminal Court announces the names of six suspects alleged to have participated in the post-election violence that threatened to tear Kenya apart three years ago, I encourage all Kenyans take a moment to reflect on the tremendous progress their country has made since those dark days.  Together, you have been working to reconcile your communities, to reform your institutions to better serve the public good, and to put your country on a path to lasting peace and prosperity.  Kenya is turning a page in its history, moving away from impunity and divisionism toward an era of accountability and equal opportunity.  The path ahead is not easy, but I believe that the Kenyan people have the courage and resolve to reject those who would drag the country back into the past and rob Kenyans of the singular opportunity that is before them to realize the country’s vast potential.  

    In pursuit of these goals, I urge all of Kenya’s leaders, and the people whom they serve, to cooperate fully with the ICC investigation and remain focused on implementation of the reform agenda and the future of your nation.  Those found responsible will be held accountable for their crimes as individuals.   No community should be singled out for shame or held collectively responsible.  Let the accused carry their own burdens – and let us keep in mind that under the ICC process they are innocent until proven guilty.  As you move forward, Kenyans can count on the United States as a friend and partner.

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/12/15/statement-president-obama-international-criminal-court-announcement

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Ocampo names Kenyan Post Election Violence suspects

Posted by Administrator on December 15, 2010

Louis Moreno Ocampo

Louis Moreno Ocampo

The names of suspected masterminds of Kenya’s post election violence have finally been revealed.

The six include senior politicians in the Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), the main parties that battled it out for the presidency in the disputed 2007 elections.

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said Wednesday that the prominent leaders bore “the greatest responsibility” for the violence that left 1,133 people dead and 650,000 displaced.

Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta, his Industrialisation counterpart Henry Kosgey, Eldoret North MP William Ruto, the head of the civil service Francis Muthaura, former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali and journalist Joshua arap Sang will now receive summons to appear before The Hague- based court.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo was addressing a news conference after presenting before the ICC judges two cases, each involving three individuals.

“The post election period of 2007-2008 was one of the most violent periods of the nation’s history,” said the Prosecutor. 

“These were not just crimes against innocent Kenyans,” he said.

“They were crimes against humanity as a whole. By breaking the cycle of impunity for massive crimes, victims and their families can have justice. And Kenyans can pave the way to peaceful elections in 2012.”

Mr Moreno Ocampo said he considered Mr Ruto, Mr Kosgey and Mr arap Sang as the “principal planners and organisers of crimes against PNU supporters”.

He said Mr Muthaura used his position as the chairman of the National Security Advisory Committee to “authorise the police to use excessive force against ODM supporters and to facilitate attacks against ODM supporters”. Major General Ali also faces the same charges.

Mr Kenyatta is accused of mobilising the outlawed sect Mungiki to attack ODM supporters.

Mr Sang used “his radio program to collect supporters and provide signals to members of the plan on when and where to attack,” said the Prosecutor.

He said that “perpetrators” cultivated by Mr Ruto, Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang began to execute their plan by attacking PNU supporters immediately after the results were announced.

“On 30-31 December 2007, they began attacks in target locations including Turbo town, the greater Eldoret area (Huruma, Kimumu, Langas, and Yamumbi), Kapsabet town, and Nandi Hills town. They approached each location from all directions, burning down PNU supporters’ homes and businesses, killing civilians, and systematically driving them from their homes.

“On 1 January 2008, the church located on the Kiambaa farm cooperative was attacked and burned with more than hundred people inside. At least 17 people died. The brunt of the attacks continued into the first week of January 2008.”

Mr Moreno-Ocampo accused government officials: Mr Kenyatta, Mr Muthaura and Major General Ali of planning and executing well coordinated retaliatory attacks.

“On or about 3 January 2008, KENYATTA, as the focal point between the PNU and the criminal organization the Mungiki, facilitated a meeting with MUTHAURA, a senior Government of Kenya official, and Mungiki leaders to organize retaliatory attacks against civilian supporters of the ODM.

“Thereafter, MUTHAURA, in his capacity as Chairman of the National Security Advisory Committee (“NSAC”), telephoned ALI, his subordinate as head of the Kenya Police, and instructed ALI not to interfere with the movement of pro-PNU youth, including the Mungiki.

“KENYATTA additionally instructed the Mungiki leaders to attend a second meeting on the same day to finalise logistical and financial arrangements for the retaliatory attacks,” he said.

The ICC prosecutor said he had no evidence linking President Kibaki or Mr Odinga to the violence.

“”We follow the evidence where it takes us. We are not taking into account political responsibilities … there are political debates, but it is not my responsibility,” Moreno-Ocampo said.

On Tuesday, Mr Moreno-Ocampo issued nine tough conditions that will guarantee freedom to the six.

He warned that he will seek arrest warrants from the Pre-Trial Chamber if the conditions, which range from the suspects frequently informing the ICC judges of their movements to an assurance of not interfering with the witnesses, were flouted.

But three of the six suspects immediately protested their innocence led by Mr Kenyatta.

“My record is clear and it remains very clear that I have never committed any crime,” Mr Kenyatta told reporters at a press conference.

“The ICC prosecutor has done his work, we wait for the outcome of the judges,” he said.

“I now find myself to be a suspect, I am ready to respond to any allegations made against me.”

Mr Ruto also countered Mr Moreno-Ocampo’s accusations saying he was not surprised to be named.

“The issues I have raised have now come to pass. It did not come as a surprise to me,” Mr Ruto said at a press conference at Parliament Buildings.

“All along I knew that there was a deliberate scheme, hatched and executed by people who were not interested in justice,” he said..

Flanked by scores of MPs, Mr Ruto said he was ready to face Mr Ocampo at the Hague.

“I am ready, willing and available to face the prosecutor with his witnesses in court as and when i am required to do so. My conscience is clear, I neither participated, organised or had anything to do with the violence.

“It is just a question of time and the truth will come out and shame the devil,” he said while declining to answer any questions from reporters.

On his part, Mr Muthaura said he had not done anything to warrant criminal prosecution.

“The suggestion that I have done anything to warrant criminal investigation is manifest nonsense. It amounts to an unwarranted slur on my reputation and is both unfair and unjustified,” Mr Muthaura told a hurriedly convened press conference at his Harambee House office.

“To issue summons for a person to appear, the pre-trial Chamber of the ICC needs to be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person for whom the summons is requested committed the crime alleged. No such judicial determination has been made. None,” Mr Muthaura added, flanked by government spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua, President Kibaki’s advisor on the constitution Prof Kivutha Kibwana and a Senior Secretary at the cabinet office, Sam Mwale.

“I wait to see what the judiciary of the ICC make of the Prosecutor’s application. Hopefully they will dismiss his application,” he stated. 

“In the event that they do decide to issue summons, I will voluntarily attend The Hague and respect any request the judges of the ICC have for me.”

The documents he gave the court included the names of the six, the crimes they are alleged to have committed and the penalty that he will be asking for.

A three-judge bench will now evaluate the two 80-page bundles of documents and decide whether he can proceed and file the charges he has identified.

Two weeks ago, Mr Moreno-Ocampo had promised to name the suspects during an address to a meeting of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation, convened by the Panel of Eminent African Personalities chaired by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Upper Hill, Nairobi.

The prosecutor said the cases had been strengthened by new evidence his team had gathered, in addition to the leads contained in the Waki Commission and Kenya National Commission on Human Rights reports.

“Since last March, when the judges issued an authorisation, my office has been investigating post electoral violence. We collected new evidence, including testimonies, videos and documents. We are not going to discuss our evidence in the media. We will do it in court,” he said.

He said the Waki Commission and the KNCHR reports were key in the investigations into the post election chaos but they only provided the background on which his team based its inquiries.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Ocampo%20names%20Kenya%20chaos%20suspects/-/1064/1072864/-/15awvwuz/-/index.html

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