Six High-Ranking Kenyans Summoned by International Criminal Court

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–9 March 2011 – Six high-ranking Kenyan officials, including a deputy prime minister, two ministers and a police chief, have been summoned to appear before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in connection with possible crimes against humanity committed in post-electoral violence three years ago.

An ICC pre-trial chamber declared yesterday by a majority of two to one that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the six are criminally responsible as either indirect co-perpetrators or contributors to the crimes against humanity of murder, forcible transfer and persecution, and ordered them to appear before the court on 7 April.

The six are William Samoei Ruto, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology; Henry Kiprono Kosgey, Minister of Industrialization; Joshua Arap Sang, Head of Operations for KASS FM radio station; Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Head of the Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet; Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; and Mohamed Hussein Ali, Police Commissioner at the time of the violence.

More than 1,100 people were killed, 3,500 injured and up to 600,000 forcibly displaced in the violence that followed the December 2007 elections. There were also hundreds of rapes, possibly more, and at least 100,000 properties were destroyed in six of Kenya’s eight provinces, according to ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who had requested the summonses.

The Chamber found reasonable grounds against Mr. Ruto, Mr. Kosgey and Mr. Sang in connection with murder, forcible transfer and persecution, although not for the count of torture. For the three others it also found reasonable grounds relating to the additional crimes of rape and other inhumane acts.

Mr. Ruto has been suspended and Mr. Kosgey has stepped aside from the ministerial positions because of issues not related to the ICC.

The six were ordered to have no direct or indirect contact with any person who is or is believed to be a victim or witness of the alleged crimes; to “refrain from corruptly influencing a witness, obstructing or interfering with the attendance or testimony of a witness, or tampering with or interfering with” the collection of evidence; and to “refrain from committing crime(s)” set forth in the 1998 Rome Statute that established the ICC.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday discussed the cases with Kenyan Vice-President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka at UN Headquarters in New York.