Thursday, 23 October 2014

ICC criticises Kenya for exposing confidential data in President Uhuru Kenyatta

 Updated Wednesday, October 22nd 2014 at 00:00 GMT +3

NAIROBI, KENYA: The Government is on the spot for disclosing confidential information filed at the International Criminal Court ( ICC). Ironically, the Government came under criticism from The Hague-based court for disclosing information touching on President Uhuru Kenyatta's assets. Concerns by the Trial Chamber V(b) stem from a disclosure of confidential information by the Government, when filing its papers in the ICC Registry. This information relates to a request by the Office of the Prosecutor to assist in freezing properties and assets belonging to President Kenyatta. In April 2011, the Pre-Trial Chamber II ordered the registrar to prepare and transmit a request to the Government to identify and freeze properties and assets belonging to or under the control of Uhuru who was then Deputy Prime Minister and Finance minister. That request remained confidential until April last year when the Government referred in its court documents to a request by the OTP for assistance in identifying, tracing, and freezing Uhuru's assets. OPEN SESSION See also: Kisumu is ready for Uhuru, leaders say The prosecution raised the issue in court and the Government apologised for the action and promised not to repeat it. Early this year a news article appeared in the media in which the request by the prosecution for the identification and the freezing of the assets was highlighted. The article was brought to the attention of the court by the prosecution. In July the Trial Chamber V(b) observed that there had been a clear violation of the confidentiality required of the parties in regard to the Pre-Trial Chamber order. However, there was no evidence as to who may have been responsible for the breach. But when making subsequent filings in the Chamber, the Government exposed some information in the order touching on the freezing of assents. This information was again picked up by the Kenyan media and used on September 11 and 17. During a status conference on October 7, Attorney General Githu Muigai referred in an open session to the confidential application made by the Prosecutor, to freeze President Kenyatta's assets. However the Chamber ordered the registrar to redact that transcript and audio visual broadcast of the hearing so that it did not reach the public.
Addressing the issue yesterday, the judges said: "The Chamber notes with concern the Kenyan Government's cumulative inattention to the taking of appropriate measures to ensure confidentiality of the proceedings."

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