Ocampo Reveal Secrets: Envoys wanted Uhuru and Ruto out of polls

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OCAMPOFormer International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno- Ocampo Friday disclosed for the first time the intrigues and behind-the-scenes activities around investigations into the 2007/08 post-election violence and what he thinks of Kenyan politics.

In an extensive interview touching on the Kenyan cases since he left office in 2012, Mr Moreno-Ocampo reveals how he rates the Kenyan leadership and his thoughts on ex-prime minister Raila Odinga and his successor at ICC Fatou Bensouda.

He tells of how some diplomats whom he did not name exerted pressure on him to ensure President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, Mr William Ruto, were not on the ballot at the elections.

“There were some diplomats asking me to do something more to prevent Kenyatta or Ruto to run in the elections. And I said ‘it’s not my job’.

Judges in Kenya should do that. And if they authorise them to run, people will vote. And if people vote for them, we have nothing to say,” Mr Moreno-Ocampo said in the interview produced by the Radio Netherlands Worldwide on January 22.

The questions were cloud-sourced from followers of The Hague Trials Kenya Facebook page.

The former ICC prosecutor refers to Ms Bensouda in glowing terms, saying: “I know Fatou Bensouda since 2004. She’s very smart, and she’s also very gentle. Very, very nice person, and very gentle. We have a nice conversation and occasionally once or twice a year she calls me to comment on some issue. But this is her business. Bensouda is the prosecutor, I’m the former prosecutor. They had enough Ocampo for nine years. They have to be rid of Ocampo.”

Mr Moreno-Ocampo says he received no evidence linking either President Kibaki or Prime Minister Odinga with the killings that occurred after the 2007 General Election but adds that there was “marginal” evidence against President Kibaki’s wife whom he did not mention by name.

“We have no information about Mr Odinga being involved in the killings. He was part of the Ruto alliance, but we have information that Ruto was allegedly involved in organising the attacks, but nothing about Odinga himself,” Mr Moreno-Ocampo says.

On Mr Kibaki, the former prosecutor who works as a lawyer in New York while also teaching at Yale University says: “There were zero allegations that Kibaki himself was involved. There were some people talking about his wife, but it was marginal. But zero about Kibaki.”

He has no kind words for Mr Odinga whom he says failed at the presidential polls because he did not address important issues, including the 2007/08 post-election violence. But he describes Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto as “smart” for turning around the perceived rivalries of their two communities to their advantage.

“It (the 2013 elections) showed that international justice is not just about judges and prosecutors. You need political leaders because basically what I see in Kenya is Kenyatta and Ruto were allegedly killing each other, their groups, and then they were smart. They made an alliance and they presented themselves as the reconciliation process.”

“And Odinga, who was the other candidate said no word about post-election violence or about ICC. So the only candidate who addressed really important issues before Kenyans were Kenyatta and Ruto. And that’s why people voted for them, in addition to the tribal affiliations. So I think it’s a good example of how you can help although you cannot transform Kenya into Sweden. That was exactly my thinking when I was in the Junta trial. When I started, my dream was that Argentina would become Sweden. It has not become Sweden. But we never went back to the massive violence. I hope in Kenya, it’s the same. The problem is showing that the countries need a political leadership. And I hope Mr Kenyatta, as a new leader, elected by his people can understand that and help them to move ahead.”

In deciding to bring charges against Mr Kenyatta, Mr Ruto, former head of public service Francis Muthaura, Joshua arap Sang, former police chief Hussein Ali and former minister Henry Kosgey, Mr Moreno-Ocampo says his office undertook “a thorough scrutiny of the evidence.”

The charges against Mr Kosgey and Mr Ali were not confirmed at the pre-trial phase, while the charges against Mr Muthaura were not soon after confirmation.

“The standard is: I asked my investigators: give me clarity. Who are those most responsible? They collected the evidence and made the first call. They presented their evidence. I challenged them: do you have evidence against this or that? In this way, we reached the conclusions,” he said.

He also delves into the Waki Commission which he says gave a lot of evidence on Mr Ruto and less on the atrocities allegedly perpetrated by Mr Kenyatta.

This scenario, he said, could have been because Mr Kenyatta was then in government which made it difficult for the Commission to gather sufficient evidence against him.

Investigations against Mr Muthaura were also hindered because of his position in the government, he says.

“In our investigation, when we started, we had much more evidence against Mr Ruto than against Kenyatta. But then, at the end of the process, we had more evidence against Kenyatta than against Ruto.”-nation.co.ke

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