Tuesday, 30 April 2013

ICC cases ‘will not be hijacked’

PHOTO | FILE Chief Justice Willy Mutunga at a past briefing.
PHOTO | FILE Chief Justice Willy Mutunga at a past briefing.  NATION MEDIA GROUP
By PETER LEFTIE pmutibo@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Tuesday, April 30  2013 at  23:30
A special International Crimes Division to be established at the High Court will not take over the cases facing President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto at The Hague, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has said.
Dr Mutunga said the division would instead handle cases relating to international crimes such as terrorism, drug trafficking, piracy and money laundering.
“Let us state upfront that these updates have nothing to do with the International Criminal Court cases of the three Kenyans at The Hague,” Dr Mutunga said.
“The eventual establishment of the division is not in any way intended to take over those cases.”
Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are charged with crimes against humanity relating to the violence that followed the bungled 2007 presidential election. Also charged is radio presenter Joshua arap Sang.
Dr Mutunga said the need to establish the division was prompted by the challenges Kenya faced from cross-border crimes like money laundering, cyber crime, human trafficking, terrorism, piracy, drug and arms trafficking and illegal trade in wildlife products.
Such crimes, the CJ noted, could weaken the security, economy, social fabric and even political structures of a nation.
He said plans to establish the division were at an advanced stage but donor funding would be needed.
“Over the last eight months, the Judicial Services Commission has carried out research on the operations of the ICC and studied situations in Uganda and Rwanda, which have set up specialised courts,” he said.
He said the JSC would hold further consultations with the Law Society of Kenya, religious groups, civil society, councils of elders, the private sector and development partners.
“These will ensure an all participatory process culminating in Kenyans having full ownership of this specialised division,” he said.
The move was welcomed by the International Centre for Policy and Conflict (ICPC), which urged Parliament to cooperate by passing enabling legislation.
“Establishing the International Crimes Division of the High Court is consistent with global determination to tackle criminally organised enterprises that have become transnational, posing problems of cooperation among security and law enforcement officials of different states,” said ICPC executive director Ndung’u Wainaina.
He also urged the Director of Public Prosecutions and the National Police Service to collaborate with the Judiciary under the multi-stakeholder Council on Administration of Justice framework in making the proposed division fulfil its mandate.

No comments:

Post a Comment