Diaspora:Lawyer blames Mama Ngina for Kenyans doubt of the ICC

Mama_NginaA Kenyan lawyer in Washington, Regina Njogu, disagreed with human rights lawyer Stephen Arthur Lamony last week when he accused Mama Ngina Kenyatta of inciting resentment towards the ICC.

Lamony, who is a senior adviser to the AU, UN and Africa Situations at the Coalition ICC organisation, said Mama Ngina attacked the court by comparing it to colonialists who had persecuted her husband and were now going after her son.  Njogu told the audience at a debate organised by the East Africa Washington Program, American University and the American Bar Association at the American University on Tuesday night that Kenyans initially supported the ICC but were now skeptical of its intentions because it runs a flawed prosecution process that cannot be depended on to deliver justice for victims of post-election violence.

She said the fact that sixty witnesses had withdrawn their evidence should serve as a warning to the ICC that the prosecution’s case has serious flaws.  Njogu joined the panel at the last minute after the Kenya mission to the UN indicated that deputy ambassador, Koki Muli, who had been invited to the ‘Debate on the International Criminal Court in Africa’ could not attend as she and Ambassador Macharia Kamau could not leave their duty station at the same time.

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While introducing the panelists, the founder of the East Africa Washington Program, Timothy Kaberia said the organisers had hoped the Kenya government would send a representative either from the UN Mission or the Washington Embassy because the Kenyan cases are at the core of African disaffection with the ICC.  Kaberia however acknowledged the presence of Kenya’s Deputy Chief of Mission Nairimas Olesein, who sat in the audience.

During the debate the former President of the American Bar Association, Michael Greco said Kenya is being insincere by demanding immunity for a sitting President yet it had supported the same against former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in 1997-98 when Kenya was a member of the UN Security Council.  Njogu countered that it was not fair to compare the Kenyan cases to Milosevic’s because the circumstances are different.  In a heated exchange between the two African lawyers, Lamony criticisedAfrican countries for threatening to pull out of the Rome Statute. He said prior to the recent pullout threat led by Kenya, former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi had tried to push for a pull out but failed.  Lamony said five out of eight African cases at the ICC were referred to the court by African leaders themselves.  Njogus aid local NGOs who she said were being funded by Europeans to bribe witnesses.  Lamony, who hails from Uganda dismissed such allegations as baseless and challenged Njogu to provide evidence that Europe funds sixty per cent of the ICC budget.  He said Japan funds twenty per cent of the ICC budget.

– the-star.co.ke

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