ICC:Kenya case judge quits Hague court

Justice Hans Peter-Kaul, the German judge who dissented in the Kenyan cases pre-trial in The Hague, has resigned from the International Criminal Court for health reasons.

His resignation takes effect on Tuesday, according to a statement from the court. Judge Peter-Kaul’s full term at the ICC would have ended on March 11, 2015.

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He had maintained that crimes committed during the 2007/2008 post-election violence belonged to the Kenyan justice system and not the ICC.

The judge, who has many times been described as dissenting, was a source of hope for the four Kenyans charged with crimes against humanity at The Hague-based court.

During the January 2012 confirmation of charges, he said the ICC should decline jurisdiction in the case against then Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta (now the President), Mr Francis Muthaura, then Eldoret North MP William Ruto (now Deputy President) and journalist Joshua arap Sang.

In his view, the crimes did not fall within the ambit of the court because the prosecutor had not proven that they were committed “in furtherance of an organisational policy”.

Justice Peter-Kaul was of the view that Mungiki and the network whose structures the accused were alleged to have used to commit the crimes did not meet the attributes of an “organisation” as envisaged in the Rome Statute.

Accepting his resignation on Monday, the ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, said: “I express deep regret over Judge Kaul’s departure from the court and the circumstances which necessitated his resignation.

“I have enormous respect for his deeply humanist personality and his substantial contributions to international justice, which will continue to guide the court in the future.”

Judge Peter-Kaul was in the pre-trial Bench with Justices Ekaterina Trendafilova and Cuno Tarfusser.

He has served as an ICC judge for 11 years. In February 2003, he was elected by the States Parties to the Rome Statute for a three-year term and assumed duty on March 11, 2003. He was re-elected in 2006 for a further term of nine years.

He has contributed to the court’s decisions on the situations in Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Darfur (Sudan) and Central African Republic, among others.


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