Raila: Arrest Uhuru and Ruto for fuelling anti-ICC sentiment
Posted by Administrator on March 10, 2012
Prime Minister Raila Odinga says Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto should be arrested for using “prayer” rallies to fuel sentiment against their prosecution at the International Criminal Court.
Mr Odinga said it was improper that individuals who have been indicted on charges that they sponsored the 2007/8 violence that claimed more than 1,000 lives were operating as free men.
“Crimes against humanity are worse than murder. Yet these suspects of crimes against humanity remain free to traverse the country holding ‘prayer meetings’ – while Kenyan suspects of the lesser crime of murder conduct their prayers only behind the forbidding walls of Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, often for years before their cases are heard,” said a blistering statement from the Raila Odinga Secretariat published by the Nation.
He said that instead of the suspects directing their energies to grand standing and voicing their innocence in public forums, they should wait to make their arguments in court.
“The guilt or innocence of suspected perpetrators is proved through trial, where the facts of the case are examined. No one becomes innocent through public grandstanding and shouting from the rooftops “I am innocent’,” said the statement.
“The suspects are not being tried by public opinion. The platform for these suspects to prove their innocence is the ICC. It is the platform they chose. In the meantime, they remain suspects in terrible crimes against Kenyans.”
Mr Odinga was responding to claims in Parliament Thursday when MPs allied to Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto tabled what has been described as a forged document alleging that the British government was working with the ICC to have President Kibaki indicted over the violence after he leaves office. (READ: UK accused of seeking Kibaki trial at ICC)
The statement was uncharacteristic of the PM who has been mostly restrained in his comments on the charged matter.
Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo, who tabled the document on Thursday, also accused the United Kingdom of propping up Mr Odinga and pushing for the detention of Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto at the ICC.
The document further indicated that the UK wants Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto arrested for allegedly threatening the security of the country through their so-called “prayer rallies” .
Since their indictment, the two suspects have been holding political rallies at which they have presented themselves as victims of persecution by powerful foreign forces through the ICC proceedings with the intention of killing their political dreams.
In doing so, the two have resorted to hyperbole and hysteria, and many in their communities of followed them.
Mr Odinga was on official business in Europe when the allegations were made.
Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto, who have indicated their intentions to vie for the presidency, have accused Mr Odinga, their principal competitor, of engineering the ICC proceedings in order to lock them out of the presidential race. Mr Odinga has laughed off the accusations, saying the ICC intervened after MPs — including allies of Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto — failed to set up a local tribunal to try those suspected of having sponsored the violence.
Despite the increasing odds against their possible candidatures, the two men, whose trials could begin after May, have maintained they would be on the ballot regardless of the proceedings. The other suspects in the case are Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura who has since stepped aside from his office and journalist Joshua arap Sang.
The National Security Intelligence Service and the British High Commission have both described the document as a forgery.
The UK has also denied claims that it was backing Mr Odinga’s presidential campaign.
“The UK has no interest in any particular outcome in the General Election and is not backing any particular candidates or parties,” the High Commission said Friday.
In his statement, Mr Odinga said he appeared to be the target of the “so-called UK Government document introduced into Parliament on Thursday.”
He said that those behind the document spoke of the possible indictment of President Kibaki in a desperate attempt to gain public sympathy and drag other individuals into the matter. (READ: UK denies Kibaki ICC plot)
“Kenyans watched ICC proceedings closely, and President Kibaki was mentioned nowhere as a perpetrator,” the statement said. He accused proponents of the campaign of defiling Parliament and rallied “all progressive Kenyans of sincerity” to take note that investigations on the violence were conducted and the Waki Commission compiled a list of suspected perpetrators that was handed over in “its entirety” to the ICC.
This appeared to be in reply to calls by a group of pro-PNU youths who on Wednesday petitioned President KIbaki to trigger action that would see all those named in connection with the violence made public.
“The document is clearly a forgery, part of a smear campaign fabricated by the same political interests that earlier forged a letter purporting to be from Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o to the ICC.”
This was in reference to a 2011 letter attributed Prof Nyongo, the ODM secretary-general, to the ICC produced by MPs allied to the Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto pushing for the prosecutions. The document is now the subject of a court case.
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