William Ruto opposes Barasa’s petition on ICC cases

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William Ruto opposes Barasa’s petition on ICC cases

William Ruto opposes Barasa's petition on ICC casesNAIROBI, KENYA: Deputy President William Ruto has distanced himself from a petition filed by Journalist Walter Barasa seeking to terminate his case and that of President Uhuru Kenyatta at the International Criminal Court.

Ruto through his lawyer Katwa Kigen said he wants nothing to do with the petition and is ready to continue with his trial at the ICC. “Ruto has pleaded and maintains that he is innocent of the charges preferred against him at ICC,” said Kigen in his grounds of objection filed before Justice Isaac Lenaola. The DP said he had elected out of his own volition to attend and participate in the ICC trial to establish his innocence. Barasa moved to High Court seeking to have Uhuru, Ruto and broadcaster Joshua arap Sang cases stopped before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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“Except as stated in the grounds of objection, Ruto leaves all issues in the petition to the court, “added Kigen.  President Uhuru has not responded to the suit and the court has directed him to file his response within 21 days.  Justice Lenaola also directed Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku, the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecution to also file their response within 21 days.  Barasa is also expected to file a rejoinder within 14 days and thereafter within 21 days ,the court directed all parties to have filed their submissions and appear before him on May 22 for further direction.  Barasa wants a declaration that the Rome Statute and international criminal law were not applicable or in force in Kenya during the post-election violence and that the International Crimes Act came into force in January 1, 2009.  He argued that under Section 77(8) of the repealed Constitution, no person in Kenya could be tried and convicted of the crimes spelt out under Article 5 of the Rome Statute during post-election violence.

The scribe added that the ongoing trials before the ICC against President, Deputy President and Sang are constitutionally invalid, null and void.  “In the premises, there is no Kenyan who could lawfully be held accountable for such crimes against humanity,” Barasa said.

The lawyer has argued that the ICC has no jurisdiction to try any offence where the Kenyan courts do not have similar power under the guise of enforcing the principle of complementarity espoused under Articles 1, 11 and 17 of the Rome Statute.-standardmedia.co.ke

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