Kenya loses bid to have ICC cases referred

KENYA has lost a bid to have ICC member states convene a special session to discuss cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.

The request was made by Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Macharia Kamau in meetings held in New York on June 17 and June 27 with ICC officials.

Several meetings followed in both New York and the Hague culminating in an announcement by the President of the Assembly of State parties Tiina Intelmann that the request cannot be entertained.

Macharia wanted the emergency session to “address the situation in which the Kenya government finds itself at present, with its President and the Vice-President indicted by the ICC.”

He wanted the session to consider solving the problem through an amendment of the Rome Statute.

Macharia wanted the assembly to discuss the recent decision of the African Union seeking referral of the Kenyan cases to a local mechanism.

“At the June 27 meeting, no consensus had emerged about convening a special session of the Assembly on the basis of the June 17 oral statement to the Bureau by the representative of Kenya,” minutes of the last bureau meeting July 19 say.

The bureau’s final determination was to “consider the issue only if new information is submitted or if new circumstances arise.”

In all the meetings, members of the bureau expressed willingness to continue dialogue with Kenya on “issues of interest and of concern to Kenya that are within the mandate of the Bureau and the Assembly.”

The bureau members stressed the importance of respecting the independence of the court and the Judiciary.

“As regards the procedure, the President referred to rule 8 of the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly, which provides that a special session may be convened by the Assembly, by the Bureau on its own initiative, or at the request of one third of the States Parties in accordance with the Rome Statute,” records of the July 8 meeting say.

The bureau is comprised of a President, two Vice Presidents and 18 members elected for a three-year term.

Intelmann’s vice presidents are Markus Borlin from Switzerland and Ken Kanda from Ghana. The membership is drawn from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Gabon, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Nigeria, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Slovakia, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and Uganda.

Macharia has been trying to have the ICC to drop the Kenyan cases. Two months ago, he lost a bid to have the UN Security Council put an end to the Kenyan cases.

The ASP is slated to take place between November 20 to 28 at the Hague, Netherlands.

– the-star.co.ke

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