ODM opposed local tribunal, Moses Kuria reveals

ODM opposed local tribunal, Moses Kuria reveals

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has dared CORD leader Raila Odinga to sue him for linking him to the case against Deputy President William Ruto.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Kuria produced a letter written by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong’o dated March 11, 2011 petitioning members of the UN Security Council to try the case against the six accused Kenyans at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

In the letter, Nyong’o cites reasons why the case should not be tried locally, among them being the opposition of one side of the grand coalition, Orange Democratic Movement, (ODM)to the request.

The former ODM Secretary General allegedly poked holes into the then Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka’s shuttle diplomacy that involved marshalling the support of different Heads of State in Africa in a bid to seek deferral of the ICC cases stating that the cases should not be deferred.

Among the reasons given on the letter, is ODM observation that the ICC process was unanimous, having been approved by the two parties under the Annan-brokered National Accord in a deal signed by the then President Mwai Kibaki (PNU) and the Prime Minister Raila Odinga (ODM).

He further stated that the great majority of Kenyans (more than 80 per cent) supported the ICC process as the most credible method to get justice for post-election violence victims and breaking the “culture of impunity and the circles of election-related violence.”

Nyong’o is also quoted saying that local trials would be exposed to political manipulation by leaders pleading the ethnic card and would pose threats to witnesses, their families and friends.

The party also allegedly pointed at the absence of a national judicial mechanism and reluctance by the government to launch investigations and prosecute crimes committed during the 2007/08 post-election violence as impeding factors to a local tribunal.

“Although Kenya has enacted the International Crimes Act, it is in doubt as to whether Kenyan courts have jurisdiction over the International crimes committed before 2009 when the Act became operational,” read the statement in part.

ODM further alleged that a local tribunal would be used to shield suspects from justice, questioning the nomination of Attorney General Githu Muigai and Kilukumi Kioko to the positions of Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions respectively since they were the lawyers for two ICC suspects, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.

Writing on behalf of ODM and party leader Raila Odinga, Nyong’o said the search for a deferral had been made by one side of the coalition government (PNU) hence should be seen as its unwillingness to prosecute the six suspects for crimes alleged by the ICC.

Kuria dared Raila Odinga to proceed and press charges against him if they are not content with the validity of the letter in his possession.

Following his utterances made on Sunday where he linked Raila Odinga, Anyang Nyon’go and Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua to the case facing Radio journalist Joshua Sang and William Ruto, the Gatundu legislator has faced wide condemnation from the people he implicated.

Raila Odinga has threatened to sue Kuria for the allegations, which he termed as unfounded and defamatory.

The ODM party leader said that the prayers being held for Ruto “are getting answered and his real enemies are giving themselves up without being cajoled or coerced”.

On her part, Martha Karua said Kuria’s allegations mirror the views of Deputy President William Ruto and further challenged the DP to come out publicly with the allegations.

Karua gave Kuria 24 hours to apologise for the allegations, failure to which she will proceed with instituting legal action against him.

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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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