Victims of post-election violence in Kenya to meet ICC emissaries
Three experts from The Hague are in the Republic of Kenya to hear the views of victims of post-election violence on how they would like those responsible for the chaos punished. Their arrival signals that the court is firmly focused on Republic of Kenya although the judges took a break for the annual Judicial Winter recess last Friday. The recess ends on January 4. Right, post-election violence in Naivasha.
Monday, 14 December 2009, by Oliver Mathenge, the Daily Nation
Ms Claudia Perdomo, who heads the court’s Outreach Unit, and legal officers Gabriela Gonzalez and Megan Hirst, are in the country on the orders of the three-judge bench hearing the case filed by chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo. Part of the team’s responsibility is to identify leaders of the affected communities who will make submissions on behalf of victims. The team will also receive collective and individual representations and compile a report for submission to the court.
“The chamber (Pre-Trial Court) orders the Victims Participation and Reparations Section (VPRS) to submit, by Monday, December 21, 2009, a report outlining the steps undertaken with respect to victims’ representations,” the judges directed last week before the three experts embarked on their mission in Kenya. Judges Ekaterina Trendafilova, Hans-Peter Kaul and Cuno Tarfusser signed the orders last Thursday and the ICC officials have until Monday to conclude their work and present a report.
The ICC has also clarified that it has not sent investigators as this can only be done once the Pre-Trial Chamber gives the greenlight to Mr Moreno-Ocampo. Last week, Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Mutula Kilonzo, right, had said that the ICC had already sent a team to carry out investigations in Kenya. The minister told journalists in Mombasa on Thursday that the investigators were preparing prosecutions for key perpetrators of last year’s post-election violence. But a local NGO said no investigator had been sent since The Hague was yet to give the clearance.
All that Ms Perdomo and her team will be doing is to ensure that all representations made by victims are in accordance with the Rule 85 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The rule defines victims as “natural persons who have suffered harm as a result of the commission of any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court”.
Oliver Mathenge, the Daily Nation
First published today by the Kenyan newspaper the Daily Nation's website, this article has been edited for publication here by HRHF / Niels Jacob Harbitz. Photos: the Daily Nation.