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December 14, 2018

Kenya welcomes ICC probe on Ocampo's misconduct

Kenyan welcomes probe into possible misconduct by former ICC Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo in regard to collapsed Kenyan cases. /FILE
Kenyan welcomes probe into possible misconduct by former ICC Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo in regard to collapsed Kenyan cases. /FILE

Kenya has welcomed investigations into the possible professional misconduct of former ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo in handling the 2007 post-election violence cases.

Suspects in the collapsed cases accused Ocampo and his officers of coaching witnesses to make up evidence against them on the violence that left 1,300 Kenyans dead.

There have been recent revelations that Ocampo may have interfered with the work of his successor Fatou Bensouda in various cases The Hague-based court is handling.

“The allegations against the former prosecutor should not be swept under the carpet," Solicitor General and Head of the Kenyan delegation Kennedy Ogeto said.

He spoke on Thursday at the 17th Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute taking place at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.

"Kenya urges the Office of the Prosecutor to refer the allegations to an external impartial and neutral entity to conduct an open and transparent audit of these allegations.”

He said Kenya welcomes efforts to institute investigations and take action on those found culpable of professional misconduct.

Ogeto called upon delegations of State Parties to consider and adopt the proposed amendments that aim at deterring misconduct by court officials.

A storm struck the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands after documents allegedly revealed that Ocampo interfered with Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's work.

Bensouda was the prosecutor in President Uhuru Kenyatta crimes against humanity case that was later dropped for lack of enough evidence and "political interference".

There are claims that Ocampo also received bribes to let off a Libyan warlord.

Ocampo is said to have passed sensitive information to the war crimes suspect who was secretly paying him for advice.

Read: Storm at ICC as Bensouda's staff probed over Ocampo, Gaddafi bribery claims

Also read: Uhuru presidential win killed ICC case - Bensouda

Kenya alluded to the decade-long trial of Jean Pierre Bemba calling for a clear and determinate statement of Charge by the office of the Prosecutor as well a rigorous evaluation of evidence by the Trial Chamber.

This, Ogeto said is to protect the liberties of the accused person and ensure that trials are not unduly prolonged.

Kenya has also opposed the increase of the ICC budget for 2019 at the Assembly of State Parties.

Ogetto argued that the increase is not merited, falling short of accusing the ICC prosecutor of misappropriating funds.

“Kenya is convinced that keeping cases alive despite the apparent flaws in the manner they were investigated and are being prosecuted not only amounts to a misappropriation of funds but also a travesty of the Rome Statute system,” Ogeto said.

Ogeto called for better use of resources including an interrogation of all activities of the Court, especially in the preliminary examinations and cases.

“The head of the delegation has urged delegations at the meeting to “scrupulously engage each other, learn from our past mistakes and build a court that is a better fit for purpose and one that can take its place as the premier international criminal judicial system.”

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