Kenya to challenge ICC case over post-poll violence
- 9 March 2011
- From the section Africa
Kenya says it will challenge the International Criminal Court's right to try six Kenyans suspected of being behind post-poll violence in 2008.
The six, including the deputy prime minister, an ex-minister and an ex-police chief, have been summoned to appear at The Hague on 7 April.
They are accused of murder, deportations and persecutions by ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
Some 1,200 people died and more than 500,000 fled homes in the violence.
In the peace deal that followed in early 2008 it was agreed people accused of crimes would face justice in Kenya or at the ICC in The Hague.
After Kenyan MPs blocked moves to set up a local tribunal, the ICC's chief prosecutor named the six high-profile Kenyans in December.
They are all senior allies of President Mwai Kibaki and his election rival Raila Odinga, who is a current prime minister.
Among those called to appear next month are Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, former Higher Education Minister William Ruto, head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura and former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali.
After an initial appearance, the ICC's pre-trial chamber will then decide whether the charges should be confirmed and the case sent for trial.
In a statement, Kenya's government said it would also challenge the ICC's jurisdiction.
The ICC said the Kenyan government should bring the matter before the judges and then they will decide whether to grant the challenge.
The BBC's Will Ross in Nairobi says now that the reality of the ICC trials is hitting home there has been a late rather panicky effort to save the politicians from going to The Hague with a promise that justice will be pursued locally.
Ministers are currently jetting around the world trying to drum up international support for the trials to be deferred for a year, he says.
Last month, the African Union endorsed Kenya's request to delay the ICC trial.