Kenyan govt says it still backs Hague trials

Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:16am GMT

More than half of Kenyans want those behind the violence which followed disputed elections tried at the ICC, a poll by research firm Synovate showed last week.

The prospect of ICC trials has struck fear into Kenya's political class, as the state-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has named several senior cabinet ministers and prominent businessmen as architects of the violence.


The ICC's chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has said he will seek arrest warrants by the end of the year for up to six Kenyans from both sides of the conflict.

Kenya's scenic Rift Valley was the epicentre of the bloodletting, which pitted ethnic Kalenjin supporters of current Prime Minister Raila Odinga against Kikuyu backers of incumbent President Mwai Kibaki, who was eventually declared the winner of the presidential poll.

Kilonzo was part of a team that worked closely with former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, who brokered a deal that stopped the bloodshed and created Kenya's first coalition government.

The justice minister said Kenya was capable of handling trials of the kind to be conducted by the ICC once the new constitution was fully implemented, a process likely to take a few years.

Kilonzo said Kenya's new constitution promulgated last month would revamp a judiciary in which Kenyans had lost confidence.

"I'm simply expressing my confidence as a Kenyan in our ability to do these things (prosecute) when the processes (investigations) are complete," Kilonzo said.   Continued...

<p>Former Liberian President Charles Taylor is seen at the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in Leidschendam, the Netherlands, August 5, 2010. REUTERS/Vincent Jannink/Pool</p>
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