Sunday, October 03, 2010

ICC in the Media, Update #7

This week all eyes continue to be on Kenya as the investigation progresses. MP Mutula Kilonzo's comments opposing the ICC's involvement have now been rejected both domestically and internationally. Kilonzo has publicly attempted to clarify his position, saying he intended his support for local tribunals to encourage their formation in conjunction with the ICC, not as a replacement. ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has stated that Kilonzo reaffirmed his commitment to the investigation, and has made clear that it will continue as planned. In continuing the investigation the Office of the Prosecutor has begun collecting sensitive information from the Kenyan government's security meetings during the post-election violence. Although it possesses copies of the minutes, it has been met with opposition from security officials in trying to obtain originals. Security chiefs have refused to give statements to the Prosecutor and the government has refused to provide the original minutes from potentially crucial meetings. The ICC requires originals for the documents to be admissible as evidence; however, Kenya is hesitant to release them because the minutes include information unrelated to the investigation involving sovereignty and national security issues. The following video addresses the situation:

Some have come forward suggesting that this refusal is an example of top officials attempting to sabotage the investigation. It has been reported that they are also trying to sabotage the ICC's involvement by insinuating that the Court has targeted ethnic groups. On Friday a number of MPs from the Party of National Unity (PNU) stated that the ICC investigations had unfairly targeted the Kikuyu ethnic group as the perpetrators of the post-election violence. These remarks have subsequently been recognized as 'hollow', and have been called 'irresponsible' in light of the ethnic component of the post-election crimes.

In other news, Judge Richard Goldstone has publicly stated that the often invoked criticism that the ICC targets Africa is 'unfair'. He argued that the ICC is a court of last resort that is often self-referred by African states, which creates an unfair perception that the ICC picks on Africa. Photo credit: Daily Nation.

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