ICC prosecutor to name 6 next week in Kenya clashes

Thu Dec 9, 2010 6:40am GMT

By Arlene Getz

NEW YORK (Reuters)--Three years after an eruption of ethnic violence in Kenya killed 1,220 people and displaced more than 350,000, the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor is poised to identify six politicians he believes orchestrated the post-election mayhem.

The six will be named on December 15, Luis Moreno-Ocampo told Reuters in his first confirmation of the date during an interview on Wednesday.

Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor at the world's first permanent court set up to try individuals for war crimes, says he will bring two cases in Kenya, with three people charged in each.

Rather than issue warrants for their arrests, however, Moreno-Ocampo said he would request summonses for them to appear in court, enabling them to remain free until they are tried at the court headquarters in The Hague.

Plans to name the six that the ICC considers "most responsible" for crimes committed in the weeks after the December 2007 election have already roiled Kenya.

Top politicians, including suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto, accuse the ICC of trying to influence the outcome of the country's next presidential election in 2012. Ruto is a key political leader in the Rift Valley, site of most of the post-poll violence.

Legal challenges have also slowed the ICC's seven-month-old investigation. Kenyan judge Kalpana Rawal postponed testimony from police officials on Tuesday after they requested immunity from prosecution for their statements.

But Moreno-Ocampo said he "can't concern himself" with the possible political impact of the ICC charges on the 2012 vote.   Continued...

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