ICC throws out Ocampo Four appeal request
Posted by Administrator on March 9, 2012
The International Criminal Court has rejected the Ocampo Four applications to appeal the decision on the confirmation of charges.
The Pre-Trial Chamber 11 found that their defence teams’ arguments were mere disagreements of the court’s majority decision and not arguable grounds for appeal.
Judges Ekaterina Trendafilova and Cuno Tarfusser rejected Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, former head of civil service Francis Muthaura, Eldoret North MP William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang applications to appeal the Chamber’s decision to commit them to trial for crimes against humanity.
However, Judge Hans-Peter Kaul dissented.
The judges ordered the registrar to forward the decision confirming the charges to the ICC Presidency to constitute a Trial Chamber.
“The Chamber, by majority, orders the Registrar to transmit to the Presidency the Decision on the Confirmation of Charges together with the record of the proceedings in the present case, as provided for in rule 129 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence,” the judges said in their ruling.
The President of the court is now expected to constitute the trial chamber by May 9 which will then set the calendar for the trials.
The decision is set to be a major blow to two of the suspects – Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto- who have expressed their interest to run for the Kenyan presidency as the law requires that they be at The Hague in person for the hearings.
The judges directed that the names of Henry Kosgey and Hussein Ali, who had been initially named by prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo as suspects, be removed from any future filings relating to the cases.
The suspects had identified several issues that they wanted to appeal arguing that the judges erred in law by using flawed evidence from the prosecutor. But the judges agreed with Mr Moreno-Ocampo that the suspects were arguing against the judges thinking and decision and not legal issues.
Appeal Chamber judges led by Ghanaian Akua Kuehenyia on February 29, rejected an appeal by the suspects to suspend the trial until their appeals are heard. The ruling communicated by the Ghanaian judge means the trial can continue even as the appeals are being argued.
The Appeals Chamber judges said that if they eventually decide to grant the appeal, any ongoing proceedings would be discontinued at that time. According to the Rome Statutes, the Appeals Chamber may confirm, reverse or amend the Pre-Trial Chamber judges’ decision over jurisdiction.
“The Appeals Chamber emphasises that the present decision is concerned only with the request for suspensive effect,” judge Kuehenyia said in the ruling.
Mr Ruto and Mr Sang are accused of having organised attacks against PNU supporters in Rift Valley following the controversial announcement of President Kibaki as the winner of the 2007 elections. The two are accused of murder, deportation or forcible transfer of the population and persecution.
Mr Kenyatta and Mr Muthaura are accused of having organised the Mungiki and pro-PNU youth to carry out revenge attacks against ODM supporters in the Rift Valley. They each faces charges of crimes against humanity, specifically murder, deportation or forcible transfer, persecution and rape. The Pre-Trial Chamber judges dropped a charge on other inhumane acts brought against them by Mr Moreno-Ocampo.
The suspects had asked the pre-trial chamber for leave to challenge its conclusions on the facts filed by the prosecutor.
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