Most of Kenyan’s 290 member parliament will most probably vote tomorrow Thursday September 5 2013 to support a motion to pull out of the International criminal Court ICC.
Kenya’s newly elected president Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy president William Ruto are facing criminal charges at the ICC in r elation to post electoral violence in 2007-2008 that led to the deaths of more than 1000 people. An analyst in Kenya told Iroko Africa this last desperate attempt to pull Kenya out of the ICC was the last trick the duo had up their sleeve to avoid prosecution “but even this will fail” he added.
ICC spokesman Fadi El Abdallah has said next Tuesday September 102013 trial of Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Arap Sang will open as programmed at the Hague in The Netherlands. ICC registrar Herman Von Hebel, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, defence counsel for Ruto Karim Khan and defence counsel for Arap Sang Joseph Kipchumba Kigenkatwa and William Nderitu, legal representative of the victims will give a joint press conference in The Hague on Monday September 9 2013, a day before the trial of Ruto and Arap Sang opens.
If the Kenyan parliament votes to withdraw Kenya from the ICC as is expected, it will be the first time any country has voluntarily decided to leave the court after joining. Kenya is one of 34 African countries that have signed up to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC.
William Samoe Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang will answer identical charges brought by the ICC prosecutor. Both were first summoned on March 8 2011, three years following the bloody post general elections bloodshed in Kenya. Both are accused of being criminally responsible for and indirect co perpetuation in murder, deportation or forceful population and persecution.
They have promised to personally attend their trial and if convicted, might be sentenced to the maximum life in jail. During elections this year, Raila Odinga, the main rival of Kenyatta and Ruto said jokingly if elected, they will be forced to rule Neyan through Skype since they will spend a better part of their mandate answering criminal charges in The Hague. That scenario did not stop Kenyans from voting Kenyatta and Ruto to the highest elective offices in the country.
The Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta who was a bitter rival of Mr Ruto will face similar charges later this year. Both managed to join forces for this year’s elections and used their perceived persecution at The Hague as part of their campaign strategy to win the elections. Some Kenyans voted them to rebuff the ICC that has been blamed for ignoring similar war crimes against leaders of richer industrial nations and only concentrating in persecuting weak political leaders in Africa.
Following their elections earlier this year, some witnesses refused to testify, the African Union accused the ICC of targeting African leaders indiscriminately. The present attempt to pull out of the ICC is the last ditch effort to stop the prosecution of the Kenyan president and his deputy.