Thursday, 20 March 2014

Kin’s agony after ex-ICC witness against Deputy President William Ruto disappears

Kin’s agony after ex-<a href='?searchtext=ICC&searchbutton=SEARCH'> ICC</a> <a href='?searchtext=witness&searchbutton=SEARCH'> witness</a> against Deputy President William Ruto disappears 

Emily Buret during an interview when she visited the Standard Group offices. Emily is looking for her father, Jonah Kipng’etich Bureti, a former ICC witness who went missing on March 8, this year, in Malindi town, Kilifi County. [Photo: Kelvin Karani/Standard]

Emily Buret during an interview when she visited the Standard Group offices. Emily is looking for her father, Jonah Kipng’etich Bureti, a former ICC witness who went missing on March 8, this year, in Malindi town, Kilifi County. [Photo: Kelvin Karani/Standard]
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Thursday, March 20th 2014

By Standard Team Kenya: Police in Malindi are under pressure to establish who could have kidnapped or is holding onto a former witness in the case in The Hague against Deputy President William Ruto. But it is worse for the family of former Party of National Unity (PNU) activist and farmer, Mr Jonah Kipngetich Buret, who want to know where he is and, amid fear and trepidation, what exactly happened to him. Buret, who was initially an International Criminal Court ( ICC) witness, disappeared in Kilifi where he has been living since fleeing his native Uasin Gishu County home. It is reported that Buret was apparently kidnapped or arrested by unknown people after staying at his supposed hideout for just three weeks, according to police and family sources. His vanishing has reportedly sparked anxiety within the Malindi District Security Department with the Divisional Police Commander Mr Kiprono Langat only saying, “The matter is being handled by the DCIO.” That the matter was a closely guarded security operation was discernible from his refusal to comment further on the matter. See also: Ruto distances himself from Barasa’s appeal to end ICC cases The Standard independently learnt that Buret’s disappearance was reported at Malindi Police Station on March 10. “The matter was reported at this police station by his wife, but is being handled by senior police officers,” said an official who cannot be named for security reasons. Hostile neighbours The officer did not specify the “senior police officers’’ handling the matter. Buret, a father and husband, fled to Kilifi last month after being banished by hostile neighbours despite recanting his testimony as ICC’s prosecution witness number 397. The Standard covered his tribulations on December 31 last year indicating that he withdrew his co-operation with the ICC on April 5, 2013. Despite withdrawing from the case, he still fled his native Beshabor village in Uasin Gishu after neighbours descended on his homestead wielding weapons and baying for his blood on December 29 last year.
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The story showed that the invaders burnt and wrecked his homestead despite assurance of safety by security chiefs. In that article, Buret was quoted as saying he was willing to return to the ICC witness programme and accused the Government of failing to protect him. In the story he claimed he was being chased “up and down like an antelope” and blamed a local chief and a teacher for his troubles. He claimed the teacher wanted to occupy his farm while the chief was aware of his tormentors. In order to inflame hatred against him, Buret claimed, his local rivals had accused him of being a sorcerer. Vanished On Wednesday, Buret’s distraught daughter said after fleeing Uasin Gishu, Buret settled in Kilifi at a location she declined to identify. See also: Ruto distances himself from Barasa’s appeal to end ICC cases “Our family has been living in fear after being harassed for long,” said a visibly shaken Emily Buret. Quoting her stepmother, Emily said her father disappeared on March 8 after being accosted by “people who identified themselves as policemen”. “After fleeing our home (in Rift Valley), he settled in Kilifi with the family and enrolled the children in a local school,” Emily said, adding that on March 8 he was riding on a boda boda when it was flagged down by the alleged policeman. “Those people, who identified themselves as policemen, took him away,” she narrated tearfully. Buret’s wife Esther said she first learnt of her husband’s disappearance from the boda boda driver and after two days of agony she reported the matter to the police on March 10. She said: “We have been living in this place for three weeks.”
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She said her husband kept most of his secrets to himself and did not discuss the ICC or other matters openly with her. Esther also disclosed that Buret remained in contact with one of his brothers in Uasin Gishu, adding that men in a taxi flagged him down after someone spoke with Mr Buret on his or the rider’s cellphone. “The boda boda man told me the men in the taxi identified themselves as policemen who wanted to talk to him,” Esther told The Standard on phone from Kilifi. Ride outside town She also alleged that the strange men also forced the taxi driver to accompany them on a ride outside town where they abandoned him with his motorcycle. She claimed the rider told her that as her husband was being bundled into the taxi, one of the strangers climbed onto the motorcycle and directed the rider’s movement out of Kilifi town. See also: Ruto distances himself from Barasa’s appeal to end ICC cases Now Esther claims the motorcycle rider gave her a fake number after reporting her husband’s disappearance. She also alleges that he did not disclose if her husband was taken away willingly. Both Esther and Emily insist Buret had not spoken about the ICC matter to them lately although the latter disclosed that her father was reluctant to disclose his new residence to many people. Emily says they last spoke on cellphone about three weeks ago while Esther says she spoke with him on March 9 “when he told me he was going to pay school fees for the children”. Both claim Buret’s cellphone has been switched off since March 8. Last evening, ICC Field Outreach Coordinator for Kenya Maria Kamara told The Standard ICC does not disclose or discuss the identity of its witnesses even when they withdraw from its process. We had we sought to know from her if Buret was ever engaged with the ICC. “All ICC witnesses remain confidential and protected even when they withdraw,” she said and indicated she was unable to discuss the matter further.
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Saturday, 15 March 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014 ODM democrat or spoiler? Mwaura tells of his ordeal

Nominated MP Isaac Mwaura flanked by ODM Party leader Raila Odinga and CORD principal Kalonzo Musyoka among other party members issue a statement. Photo/FILE 
Nominated MP Isaac Mwaura flanked by ODM Party leader Raila Odinga and CORD principal Kalonzo Musyoka among other party members issue a statement. Photo/FILE  Photo/SULEIMAN MBATIAH
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When Isaac Mwaura Migua attempted to join Starehe Boys in 1997, the legendary director Geoffrey Griffins turned him away, saying he could not admit an “an injured child.”
Earlier, Mwaura’s young life was a full tray of trauma; his father had separated from his mother saying he was not his son; the old man could not reconcile with the birth of an albino child in his family.
“He said I was not his son. I was brought up by my mother in Githurai Kimbo,” says the MP. Having studied in Special Schools throughout his life, Mwaura is quite sensitive  to any iota of discrimination — real or imagined.
From Thika Schools for the Blind for both his Primary and secondary education,    justice for all has been a major concern for this  young man.
He thus does not allow anyone to discriminate against him.
So when a secret list of the alleged winning team at the ODM delegates conference was leaked without his name, he vowed the elections would not continue.
“We were just about to carry out  a very undemocratic exercise. I did not know I was capable of stopping it. But  I was sure my opinion would be heard,” avers Mwaura.
Mwaura’s recollection is that the infamous list that replaced his name with that of Peter Ole Musei for position of deputy secretary-general emerged after a lunch break at around 4 pm.
“When I went to complain to the National Elections Board (NEB), I found some of them distributing the list. I got mad,” he says.
Mwaura was irked because he was a key member in the think tank that coined the euphoric “ Team Fresh” mantra that had propelled the Ababu Namwamba-Hassan Joho camp to near win.
“To edge me out was unacceptable,” he avers
So did he stop the elections under the direction of some big forces?
“I have never been paid by anyone to use me politically. If the list had not emerged, the polls could have gone on,” he asserts.
Since the polls debacle last weekend, Mwaura, oscillates around the tag of a hero or villain.
“To real owners of ODM, I saved the party, to enemies of ODM, I do not know,” says Mwaura. Everywhere he goes, Mwaura  steals attention.
When not in suits and shirts of different shades, he completes his style with a Mobutu cap. Other times, he shows up in a godfather hat or African attire especially the Nigerian type.
During his first year at Kenyatta University where he studied Special Education and French, he led a strike against an NGO that was exploiting  blind students at the university.
Seeking power is part of this Kiambu born activist.
He was elected to represent special  needs students at the students union, Kusa.  In 2005, he was prevailed to run for Kusa chairmanship but failed to capture the seat.
Mwaura believes he is a social democrat at heart.
In fact, his  journey to ODM, against the grain was triggered when he was introduced to ODM Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o by his daughter, award-winning movie star Lupita.
“In 2006, I met Lupita at the Kenya National Theatre (KNT) when she was about to shoot her movie In My Gene. The movie was about albinism so I was helping her refine the concept,” he reveals.
He had loved Nyong’o senior and his retinue of Young Turks as he grew up. “I asked Lupita to introduce me to her father. The  rest is history,” says the MP.
He will still vie for Deputy Secretary General  in ODM when elections are ever called. 
Any ambition? “I will be vying for a parliamentary seat in 2017,” he lets out.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Court warns university staff over strike

Strike over pay: Members of the University Academic Staff Union, Moi University chapter and those from the Kenya Universities Staff Union during their strike at the institution in Uasin Gishu County. JARED NYATAYA
Strike over pay: Members of the University Academic Staff Union, Moi University chapter and those from the Kenya Universities Staff Union during their strike at the institution in Uasin Gishu County. JARED NYATAYA

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Industrial Court has warned university staff against engaging in the ongoing strike as this will amount to a grievous penalty.
Lady Justice Monica Mbaru said that the lecturers and university staff strike was illegal and that they ought not to be in the streets because of a court order given Tuesday.
“They are not exempt from court orders and their actions to go on with the strike will amount to contempt of court,” Justice Mbaru said.
She also said that any other communication between the parties outside the court would also be taken as contempt of court.
The university staff union leaders were on Monday ordered to appear in court on Tuesday to answer allegations of engaging in an illegal strike.
Despite the court order, the university staff kicked off their planned strike early Wednesday morning.
Lawyer Gladwell Mumia for the Inter-Public University Consultative Forum, IPUCCF said that the lecturers and staff refused to be served with the court order saying that it had no impact on their planned go-slow.
“We tried to serve them directly, tried through their advocates, through emails and even went to their offices but they declined to accept the service,” MS Mumia said.
She asked the court to take action against the members who went on the “court prohibited strike” and declare the on-going strike as illegal.
An SMS sent Wednesday to the members of the University Academics Staff Union, UASU by their secretary general, Mr Muga K’Olale was presented in court affirming that the strike was on as earlier scheduled.
“Notice, the strike is on, it is legal. Ignore the court order. We won’t appear in court at 10 am tomorrow. Don’t be intimidated. Launch the strike,” the message read.
The cell phone message continued to say that “they will close the varsities and we will have a return to work formula. We will not relent. Solidarity forever.”
According to Ms Mumia some universities had by Wednesday morning gone on strike, including the Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology, JKUAT and the Technical University previously known as Kenya Polytechnic.
Justice Mbaru extended the orders saying that not even the lecturers or the staff are indispensable before the law.
She ordered that the university staff be served through the media because all the other means executed by the applicant lawyer had borne no fruit.
“I am satisfied that the claimant has made efforts to serve the respondents but they have declined to accept the court order. I therefore order that they be served through special means- the national newspapers,” Justice Mbaru said.
She also extended the orders making the strike illegal, saying “the orders have to remain in course until further directions are given on the issue.”
The case continues.

Varsity staff begin strike

University Academic Staff Union Secretary General Muga Kolale  addressing Journalists at Egerton University in Njoro, Nakuru on March 5, 2014. Staff in public universities across the country downed their tools Wednesday, despite a Tuesday court order halting the strike. PHOTO/SULEIMAN MBATIAH 
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

By Nation Reporter
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Staff in public universities across the country downed their tools Wednesday, despite a Tuesday court order halting the strike.
At the University of Nairobi’s Main Campus all lecture halls were empty; the library and administration offices were closed when visited the university at about 10am.
There was no activity going on at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) main campus in Juja. The universities' academic staff union chapter secretary Joseph Mberia said the strike was on as they had not received the court order halting the strike.
Reports indicated that no lectures were going on in Egerton University, Nakuru County, Laikipia and Maasai Mara University campuses, Moi University in Eldoret and Masinde Muliro University in western Kenya.
All 1,500 lecturers and non-teaching staff in Moi University boycotted their work, with the chairman of University Academic Staff Union (Uasu) Moi University saying they would not resume classes or go back to their offices until their issues are resolved.
The staff had converged at the university grounds, before they divided themselves into two groups. They said they would storm classes and offices to ensure that no learning took place.
At Egerton, staff union officials were set to give a news conference regarding the strike.
Uasu and Kenya University Staff Union (Kusu, are demanding Sh3.9 billion for their salaries and house allowance, money which they allege has been diverted by universities’ vice chancellors.
The money is part of a Collective Bargaining Agreement signed between the lectures and the universities in 2012 that saw the dons win Sh7.8 billion for salary increment and enhancement of house allowances.
The strike could adversely affect learning for 500,000 students undertaking various courses at certificate, degree, masters and PHD levels via regular and parallel programmes.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

John Githongo exposes Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee underbelly, nine months later

By John Githongo for the Star
Kenya celebrated its 50th anniversary as an independent country last month. I was struck by how low-key it was considering the scale of the milestone.
John Githongo exposes Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee underbelly, nine months later

This was partly because of Nelson Mandela’s death and subsequent funeral. It isn’t in the best of taste to throw too big a party when the continent is mourning its most respected and beloved son.
However, it is also the case that the past nine months since the Jubilee coalition controversially won the election have been challenging ones.
The swagger and hubris of May to September has been somewhat tempered. One simple reason for this is that it is easier to run a campaign than a government; especially a government that you know contains within it a massive bloc of officials whose resentment of you is virulent and seethes below the surface.Thus it is that those who were thumping their chests in May today plead to be given time to deliver; for the public to cut them some slack as they grapple with multiple governance challenges.
That has not, however, tempered the hubris of commercial types unable to smell the political coffee, who continue to believe that Kenya can grow its way out of its unresolved fundamental political contradictions.
This administration has emerged to be an alliance between the Gikuyu and Kalenjin elites, their followers and the corporate sector narrowly defined.
The youthful Nandi Hills MP, Alfred Keter, has been persistent in warning Deputy President William Ruto essentially that ‘the Gikuyu are out to use and dump’ the Kalenjin in the political alliance that is Jubilee.
While there are some observers who have dismissed this as the mere posturing of coalition partners grumbling that they aren’t being allowed to ‘eat’ enough (partly true), others have argued its indicative of a deeper malaise among the Kalenjin vis-à-vis their already totally unlikely and deeply uncomfortable political marriage. I tend towards the former view.
The alliance’s durability is heavily dependent on impunity with regard to grand corruption. The more the pigs can gorge themselves at the trough, the less whining one will hear out of this regime.
Political events have a habit of knocking the wind out of the sails of a new administration. Then again, the statements of key government officials regarding issues like the ICC and security in particular have been so beyond the pale they have alarmed even Jubilee’s sympathisers. The lies have been so transparent that they have left many observers confused.
The Westgate saga in September, for example, saw the reputation of Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku take a battering.
But even this damage might have been better contained had it not occurred in a context where the youthful “digital” regime was battling significant challenges on multiple fronts, some of them self-made. Its credibility was first dealt a massive blow by what the kindest of critics might term the incompetence of the electoral body, followed by a Supreme Court judgement that left significant swathes of the country disgruntled and unconvinced about the legitimacy of its mandate.
Distracted by the “personal challenges” of its top leadership in the form of the ICC, it further lost opportunity after opportunity to unite the country behind its ambitious agenda, so much so that the nation’s Golden Jubilee celebrations were marked nationwide, particularly outside Nairobi, by more ambivalence than celebration.
KANU 2.0
The scale of NARC’s victory in 2002 and the diversity of the coalition in those in ‘pre-tyranny of numbers’ days were such that Kenyans allowed the Kibaki administration massive political leeway.
Blunders were excused and even delays in implementing promises were met – at least initially – with public patience and understanding.
Even when the President was taken ill, and a fatal air crash injured and killed some of his ministers early in his tenure, despite the start of squabbles within the coalition over the infamous MOU that was never honoured, the nation was still willing to allow the Kibaki regime time and space to implement the series of significant policy reforms it had promised.
To be fair, Kibaki came to power in radically different circumstances and on the back of a political machine much of which had considerable social capital having spent two decades in opposition.
It was a time of great hope, even for those who had voted for his rival. Despite the fact that Kibaki himself and several of the most influential of his officials had spent most of their professional lives in government rather than outside it, the new regime was perceived as pro-reform.
It rode on the credentials of those who had consistently fought for political transformation for much longer, paying dearly for their defiance and activism in honing a post-Moi change agenda. It is worth remembering, in contrast, that in the latter part of those years of struggle, Kenya’s fourth president Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto were in KANU proper.
Ruto first became a household name in Kenya in association with KANU’s notorious youth wing, Youth for KANU ’92. As for Kenyatta, no less than Moi’s chosen heir, it might have taken ten years to bring the second president’s dream to fruition, but clearly he is on track now to carry out his mandate to extend the Moi era for, as he himself pointed out recently, another twenty years.
Nine months since they came to power, Uhuru and Ruto do not seem to have been granted such a grace period. Their honeymoon with Kenyans – if there ever was one – was the most short-lived in Kenyan history. As a result, from the get-go even simple problems have deteriorated into crises.
The confrontational aggression that characterised the elections right through to the swearing-in of the new Executive has spilled over into the everyday; everything it does is contested. We have, for example, seen multiple events of industrial unrest among entire groups of public servants such as teachers and medical professionals.
We watched our main airport’s arrivals terminal burn down and Senator Mutula Kilonzo die in circumstances that still remain unclear.
Of all the changes anticipated by the constitution, security sector reform has been the slowest and most vexatious. The terrorist attack on Westgate Mall in September was so incompetently handled that it left the reputation of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) badly dented and government officials looking confused and inept.
Then, across the country, an apparent collapse in security, combined with the messiness of the transition into devolution has seen deadly violence break out in Tana River, Mandera, Moyale, Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, Mombasa and other counties. Just as troubling, the police seemed unable to unravel the mystery of a bloodied and recently decapitated human head dumped outside the National Police Service Commission offices with a message to the Chair of that Commission on it.
The current police vetting exercise has raised more questions than answers; not only has the public been flabbergasted by the secrets that have come spilling out, the critical issues of the timing of the exercise and the sensitivities of demobilizing even a section of any disciplined force do not seem to have been prepared for.
Hence the anxieties that prompted a prophecy of a dire future for officers so publicly exposed as dishonourably retired, with no prior discussion as to livelihood and security options.
The regime’s response to growing articulation of public dis-ease has been to aggressively move to contract democratic space leading to brazen attempts to muzzle the media, manage civil society and generally exhibit a political thin skin that has been surprising, exhibiting intolerance to criticism that harks back to the 1980s.
The unapologetic ethnic insensitivity with regard to public appointments, and the defiant attitude with which criticism has been fended off, seems to be a calculated message dismissing as inconsequential and petty all those who question the regime. And then there has been the rather unusual development in the form of an unexpected article by the President’s speechwriter, Eric Ng’eno, complaining about sabotage by old-school bureaucrats in the system.
The last time a relatively junior official railed against colleagues above his pay grade with such confidence was in 1983, during the Moi era, when the then chief inspector of motor vehicles, Kuria Kanyingi, went on the offensive with the ‘traitor’ narrative. History reminds us that this was concocted to remove the then powerful minister Charles Njonjo from public service in a manner that also ended his political career.
The general feeling of many observers is that there was no way Ng’eno could have been speaking for himself; the bets are on that he has clearly been given the nod to cry wolf loudly and wring his hands wildly for the public. Some have argued that he is simply laying the ground for a coming purge of the civil service.
Others speculate that internal contradictions within the coalition forged by the ICC are beginning to cause a very public fraying at the political edges, an opinion that is gaining currency with the repeated amplification of dis-ease alluded to earlier, led by the relatively junior first-time member of the national assembly, Alfred Keter.
The Executive has fast-tracked all manner of economic projects while the grand political one of nation-building seems to have been parked for a while.
Whatever happens at the Hague, the ICC process will change this order of priorities. At the end of the day, Kenyans are beginning to come to terms with the fact that the 2007/8 post-election violence and other atrocities that have helped define the most powerful resentments in our society will ultimately require a comprehensive political solution for true closure to be found.
Dishing out cash and title deeds won’t cut it, nor will rewarding sycophancy and political support at the expense of national unity. In this sense, it is a crying shame that the Bethwell Kiplagat – led Truth and Reconciliation Commission was still-born.
Kenya doesn’t have an Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Still, one prays that ultimately someone that the political elite will actually listen to – our religious leaders perhaps – will have the wisdom and courage to speak the truth to power and the selflessness to do whatever it takes to bring about true reconciliation in Kenya.

Friday, 7 March 2014

ICC finds DRC warlord guilty, to be jailed later

ICC finds DRC warlord guilty, to be jailed later
March 7, 2014
Today, 7 March 2014, Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC), ruling in the majority, with Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert dissenting, rendered its judgment in the case The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga.
The Chamber was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of Germain Katanga’s guilt as an accessory, within the meaning of article 25(3)(d) of the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, to one crime against humanity (murder) and four war crimes (murder, attacking a civilian population, destruction of property and pillaging) committed on 24 February 2003 during the attack on the village of Bogoro, in the Ituri district of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Decisions on sentencing and victim reparations will be rendered later.
The Prosecutor and the Defence may appeal the judgment within 30 days.
Presiding Judge Bruno Cotte delivered a summary of the judgment at a public hearing today. He explained that in light of the witness testimonies and the evidence presented before the Chamber, it had been established beyond reasonable doubt that Germain Katanga had made a significant contribution to the commission of the crimes by the Ngiti militia, which was acting with a common purpose, by assisting its members to plan the operation against Bogoro.
The Chamber found that Germain Katanga acted in the knowledge of the criminal common plan devised by the militia to target the predominantly Hema population of Bogoro. The crimes of murder, attacking civilians, destroying property and pillaging were part of the common plan.
The Chamber found that Mr Katanga was the intermediary of choice between the weapons and ammunition suppliers and those who physically committed the crimes using those munitions in Bogoro. He contributed to reinforcing the strike capability of the Ngiti militia who carried out the crimes committed in Bogoro on 24 February 2003.
He also contributed, by virtue of his position in Aveba – the only place in the collectivité with an airport which could accommodate aircraft transporting weapons – to equipping the militia and enabling it to operate in an organised and efficient manner. His involvement allowed the militia to avail itself of logistical means which it did not possess enabling it to secure military superiority over its adversary.
However, the Chamber dismissed the mode of liability, as principal perpetrator, applied to Germain Katanga, since it was not proven beyond reasonable doubt that in respect of the collectivité he had the material ability to give orders or to ensure their implementation, or that he had the authority to punish camp commanders.
The Chamber changed the characterisation of the mode of liability against Mr Katanga – who had initially been charged as principal perpetrator – on the basis of article 25(3)(d) of the Rome Statute, which defines being an accessory as contributing “[i]n any other way [...] to the commission [...] of [...] a crime by a group of persons acting with a common purpose”.
Germain Katanga was found guilty, as an accessory within the meaning of article 25(3)(d) of the Rome Statute, of the crimes of murder constituting a crime against humanity and a war crime and the crimes of directing an attack against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities, destroying the enemy’s property and pillaging constituting war crimes.
The Chamber also decided that Germain Katanga shall continue to be detained pending sentencing.
The Trial Chamber acquitted Germain Katanga of the other charges that he was facing. With respect to these charges, the Chamber found that there was evidence beyond reasonable doubt that the crimes of rape and sexual slavery were committed. Regarding the crime of using child soldiers, it found that there were children within the Ngiti militia and among the combatants who were in Bogoro on the day of the attack.
However, the Chamber concluded that the evidence presented in support of the accused’s guilt did not satisfy it beyond reasonable doubt of the accused’s responsibility for these crimes.
In her dissenting opinion, Judge Van den Wyngaert challenges the change in the characterisation of Germain Katanga’s mode of liability. She argues that the change in characterisation rendered the trial unfair and breached the rights of the Defence, as it did not receive proper notification of the new charges and was not afforded a reasonable opportunity to conduct investigations in order to mount a defence against them.
Judge Van den Wyngaert maintains that there is no basis in the evidence for findings beyond reasonable doubt which can be relied on to establish Germain Katanga’s guilt.
Information about the trial
Germain Katanga, alleged commander of the Force de résistance patriotique en Ituri [Patriotic Force of Resistance in Ituri] (FRPI), was tried before Trial Chamber II, composed of Judges Bruno Cotte, Fatoumata Dembele Diarra and Christine Van den Wyngaert, for the crimes against humanity of murder, rape and sexual slavery and the war crimes of wilful killing, directing an attack against a civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities, destruction of property, pillaging, using children under the age of fifteen years to participate actively in hostilities, sexual slavery, and rape.
Mr Katanga was transferred to the Detention Centre in The Hague, the Netherlands, on 17 October 2007. The trial commenced on 24 November 2009, and the parties and participants delivered their closing statements from 15 to 23 May 2012.
In the course of 265 days of hearings, Trial Chamber II heard 25 witnesses and expert witnesses called by the Prosecution, 28 called by the defence teams for Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui (whose case was joined to Mr Katanga’s during the trial and severed on 21 November 2012) and two called by the legal representatives of the victims.
The Chamber also called two further experts to testify. In addition, Germain Katanga also chose to testify under oath as a witness. The judges ensured respect for the rights assured to each of the parties by the Rome Statute, including the right to cross-examine witnesses.
Leave was granted to 366 victims to participate in the proceedings, through their legal representatives. They were thus able to present their views on the issues before the Chamber and were authorised to put specific questions to the witnesses.
Trial Chamber II issued 409 written orders and decisions and 168 oral decisions. The parties and participants submitted more than 3,300 applications to the Chamber.

British widow wins battle for husband's frozen sperm

A British woman won a High Court battle on Thursday to preserve her late husband's sperm for at least another decade so that she can bear his children. 
A British woman won a High Court battle on Thursday to preserve her late husband's sperm for at least another decade so that she can bear his children. Photo/FILE  

Friday, March 7, 2014
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A British woman won a High Court battle on Thursday to preserve her late husband's sperm for at least another decade so that she can bear his children.
Beth Warren, 28, had challenged a ruling by fertility regulators that the sperm stored by her husband Warren Brewer before his death in 2012 should be destroyed next year.
Judge Mary Hogg said in a written ruling: "I am satisfied it was his wish that Mrs Warren should have the opportunity to have the use of his sperm after his death in order to have his child or children if she so wanted."
Brewer, a ski instructor who was 32 when he died, had frozen his sperm in April 2005 before receiving radiotherapy for a brain tumour, a treatment which risked making him infertile.
He named Warren as his partner and made clear he wanted her to use his sperm after he died, the judge said.
But he failed to give legal consent for it to be preserved beyond the statutory ten years, meaning Warren must use it before April 2015 or see it destroyed.
Still grieving and trying to rebuild her life, Warren argued at the High Court that she was not ready to start a family.
She asked for the sperm to be stored for the maximum 55 years allowed under the law -- until April 2060 -- so she could choose to have his children later.
The judge approved her request, extending the storage period to at least April 2023 and then until April 2060 pending regular procedural reviews.
Warren, who took her husband's first name as her surname, said she was "elated" at the ruling.
She said her husband "was my life. I know we didn't get that life we wanted. So we made this plan".
"Now I feel I can just move on in my life. With what I want to do. With this chance Warren left me."
However, the judge later granted the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) the right to appeal, a decision which Warren's lawyer said left her "downhearted".
The HFEA licences fertility clinics carrying out assisted conception procedures such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) as well as human embryo research.
In a statement, it said it had hoped to find a way for Warren to store the sperm for longer without creating a precedent.
"However, because the judgment acknowledges that written consent to store the sperm beyond April 2015 is not in place, the judgment may have implications for other cases in which the sperm provider's wishes are less clear," it said.

Lupita lip balm sold out

The sales of Clarins HydraQuench Moisture Replenishing lip balm skyrocketed overnight after Lupita dropped a tube into Ellen Degeneres’ hat which the host was using to collect money to pay a Pizza delivery man. 
The sales of Clarins HydraQuench Moisture Replenishing lip balm skyrocketed overnight after Lupita dropped a tube into Ellen Degeneres’ hat which the host was using to collect money to pay a Pizza delivery man. Photo/AFP
Host Ellen DeGeneres  during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. When Lupita dropped the tube into the hat, Ellen excitedly picked it up and said:  “Lupita’s lip balm! That’s worth something!” 
Host Ellen DeGeneres during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. When Lupita dropped the tube into the hat, Ellen excitedly picked it up and said:  “Lupita’s lip balm! That’s worth something!” Photo/AFP  

Thursday, March 6, 2014
By Antony Karanja
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Kenyan actress and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o on Sunday sparked an immediate sellout of lip balm across the US.
The sales of Clarins HydraQuench Moisture Replenishing lip balm skyrocketed overnight after Lupita dropped a tube into Ellen Degeneres’ hat which the host was using to collect money to pay a Pizza delivery man.
When Lupita dropped the tube into the hat, Ellen excitedly picked it up and said:  “Lupita’s lip balm! That’s worth something!”
 Immediately # Lupitaslipbam started trending on twitter as viewers tried to find out the brand of the lip balm. Once they found out, the lip balm flew off the shelves.
The French beauty brand immediately reaped big from the thirty seconds free, organic social advertising.
Companies are known to shell out as much as Sh 173 million ($2 million) for a 30 second ad spot on US premier events which include the Super Bowl and baseball’s penultimate matchups, The World Series.
Clarins Group, a French luxury cosmetics company put out a press release on Monday reporting that the lip balm had been sold out in stores across the US and was only available online.
To satisfy the demand, the company had to order additional stocks from France and also offered, through their website, limited free shipping for the product.
The lip balm is currently not available over the shelves but it is available online.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Human skull, 7 guns found at Westgate’s ruins

Adan Abdikadir, Mohamed Abdi, Liban Abdullah and Hussein Hassan in court on March 03, 2014. PHOTO | PHILIP MUYANGA

Written by PHILIP MUYANGA, @philipmuyanga, March 6, 2014

A human skull, jaw, bones and 10 kilograms of flesh were recovered at the basement of Westgate shopping mall during investigations after the attack, a court heard on Thursday.
Anti-Terrorist Police Unit investigator Sergeant Ezekiel Luley said the recovered human remains were taken for forensic examination.
Mr Luley told the court that they also said they recovered seven firearms among them a G3 rifle and magazines.
Also recovered, the court heard, were three AK 47 rifles attached to magazines found at the mall’s basement.
Mr Luley said on the day of the attack he was tasked with visiting hospitals where victims had been admitted.
“I visited the hospitals and talked to victims some who said there were four attackers while others claimed they were eight,” said Mr Luley.
The witness said at the city mortuary, all bodies of the victims of the attack were kept in one place.
Four suspects, Adan Abdikadir, Mohamed Abdi, Liban Abdullah and Hussein Hassan are charged with carrying out the terrorist attack at Westgate Shopping mall.
Other charges facing some of the accused include giving support to terrorist group and habouring of persons committing a terrorist acts.
The case has been adjourned to April 10.