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ICC: What we’ll do if Uhuru cuts ties

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KenyattaThe ICC on Monday warned that Kenya risks punishment by the Assembly of State Parties if it fails to hand over three suspects wanted in The Hague on charges of tampering with witnesses.

Even though the court has not formally received a notification of non-cooperation from the government, its spokesman, Mr Fadi el Abdallah, Monday said the court would report Kenya to the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) if the government goes ahead to implement President Uhuru Kenyatta’s declaration.

The President had on Saturday said that Kenya would be cutting its ties with ICC and that he would not allow any other Kenyan to walk the same road that he and the others who faced charges had walked.

“We would not wish any Kenyan to go through the experience we have had,” said the President.

Monday, Mr Abdallah said: “In cases of non-cooperation, the legal procedure before the ICC is for the judges to make a finding of non-compliance and to refer it to the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute for the Assembly to take any measure it deems appropriate.”

He, however, was not specific about the consequences that Kenya could face for failing to cooperate with the ICC.

Article 87(7) of the Rome Statute, which established the ICC states:  “Where a State Party fails to comply with a request to cooperate by the Court … the Court may make a finding to that effect and refer the matter to the Assembly of States Parties or, where the Security Council referred the matter to the Court, to the Security Council.”

During Saturday’s thanksgiving rally in Nakuru following the termination of the case against Deputy President William Ruto and Mr Joshua arap Sang, President Kenyatta said that no other Kenyan would be tried in The Hague.

LOCAL COURTS

As he called for reconciliation among Kenyans who were affected by the 2007/8 post-election violence, Mr Kenyatta said Kenyans would instead use local courts to deal with people who will be involved in election and political related violence.

“That chapter we have closed. We have our own courts, we will sort out our own issues. I don’t want to see any Kenyan going out there again, we are not going back there,” he said.

He appeared to be referring to the warrants of arrest issued by the ICC against former journalist Walter Barasa and lawyers Paul Gicheru and Philip Bett for alleged witness interference.

The ICC cited witness tampering as one of the reasons for declaring a mistrial in the DP’s case.

Monday, Mr Abdallah said the court was aware of the declaration by President Kenyatta.

“The ICC is aware of the news reporting an alleged statement by the President of Kenya declaring that Kenya will not cooperate with the ICC in future in relation to the implementation of the three pending arrest warrants for Mr Barasa, Mr Gicheru and Mr Bett. The court has not received any official information from the Kenyan Government indicating its intention to stop cooperation with the court,” he said.

-nation.co.ke

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