ICC to study Kenya post-election violence suspects list

The International Criminal Court’s Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo will next week open a sealed envelope containing the names of alleged leaders of Kenya’s post-election violence that killed 1,500 people last year.

Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan handed the list to Moreno-Ocampo on July 9 after the ICC reached agreement with Kenyan authorities to set up a court in the country by next year to try the suspects. Annan was given the list of people and proof of their involvement last October by Judge Phillip Waki, who led a government-appointed commission of inquiry into the killings.

“I will take into consideration the information as I’m doing my preliminary analysis, but I will not follow the recommendations blindly,” Moreno-Ocampo said in a phone interview late yesterday from Bunia in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “What we’ve heard is that the attacks were widespread and systematic.”

Moreno-Ocampo, who is on an official visit to Africa that includes stops in Ethiopia and Uganda, said “impunity” from prosecution may lead to more violence in Kenya’s next elections. If Kenya fails to establish a tribunal by 2010, the cases will be turned over to the ICC.

“If they cannot do it, they are committed to handing the cases to me,” Moreno-Ocampo said. Annan handed over the list to help the ICC with its probe, he added.

Annan mediated an agreement between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga to form a power-sharing administration after two months of fighting following a the disputed December 2007 poll drove as many as 300,000 people from their homes.

Source: Blommberg

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