ICC ready to engage Kenya legally on referral bid
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – The International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says the court is ready to engage in any legal debate with the government of Kenya over referral of the cases facing President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.
The Office of the Prosecutor said in response to queries by Capital FM News that the Kenyan cases can be referred if Kenya proves that there is a genuine national process handling the same cases, same persons and for the same charges being handled by the ICC. However the office says it is a judicial process that will be determined by the ICC judges.
In an apparent reaction to last week’s resolution of the African Union that called for referral of the cases back to Kenya, the Office of the Prosecutor said it appreciates the AU’s unflinching commitment to combating impunity for serious crimes.
“In accordance with the Rome Statute, a State wishing to conduct national proceedings has to satisfy the judges that it is genuinely conducting proceedings against the same person/s for the same crimes,” The prosecutor said.
“This is a judicial process, the outcome of which is independently decided by judges. The OTP stands ready to engage in any legal debate regarding its on-going cases in Kenya.”
Kenya which has in the past unsuccessfully challenged admissibility has been asking the ICC to refer back the cases against President Kenyatta, his Deputy William Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang.
The OTP reiterates its readiness to work with the AU and all States Parties to end the suffering of millions of victims of atrocious crimes around the world.
Bensouda said the only way for justice to take its course is through judicial channels, with each step decided by the judges, and not by political bodies or the media.