ICC prosecutor in Uganda urges LRA rebel chief to surrender

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor pleaded on Friday for the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army rebel chief to surrender, vowing he would receive a fair trial just as his deputy faces.

Senior rebel leader Dominic Ongwen, a child-soldier-turned-warlord in Uganda’s LRA, appeared before the ICC in The Hague for the first time in January, charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda called for the surrender of Ongwen’s rebel supremo Joseph Kony, the last LRA rebel indicted by the ICC believed to be still at large.

“Leave the bush and encourage other members of the LRA to do the same,” ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said, during a five-day tour of Uganda.

“Stop committing crimes against your own people and others, do the right thing and surrender.”

Bensouda is visiting Uganda to update people on Ongwen’s case, including renewing contacts with possible witnesses.

“The wheels of justice may turn slowly, but turn they surely will, let us leave justice to take its course,” Bensouda said.

“Let us embrace the independent and impartial judicial process offered by the court as a means of bringing healing and closure for victims of mass crimes.”

The LRA is accused of killing more than 100,000 people and abducting 60,000 children in a bloody rebellion launched in northern Uganda almost three decades ago.

Known as the “White Ant”, Ongwen was notorious for leading his troops on punishment raids, which often involved slicing off the lips and ears of victims as grim calling cards.

The LRA first emerged in northern Uganda in 1986, where it claimed to fight in the name of the Acholi ethnic group against Museveni’s newly established government.

But over the years it has moved across the porous borders of the region. The LRA shifted from Uganda to sow terror in southern Sudan before again moving to northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and finally crossing into southeastern Central African Republic and Sudan.

“Let me be equally clear to all other LRA fighters and followers: you have nothing to fear from the ICC. We are only concerned with those top five commanders against whom the court has issued warrants of arrest,” Bensouda added.

“Abandon violence and choose a new, more promising path; a path which has a future. Return to your families, communities and country, and start the process of rebuilding your life. It is not too late.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Bensouda releases evidence in Uhuru’s case

ICC chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Monday released the evidence that her office previously intended to use in the case against President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The allegations contained in the Pre-trial brief (redacted) link the President to Mungiki. The evidence alleges that Uhuru was responsible for an alliance between the PNU party and Mungiki before the 2007 general elections. Uhuru is also accused of organising funding for the Mungiki during the violence that followed the election.

In addition, the document links key members of the government as intermediaries in the “common plan” between Mungiki and PNU as well as during organisation during the violence in Nakuru and Naivasha.

Bensouda withdrew charges against the President on December 5 after ICC judges rejected Bensouda’s request for a further adjournment but told her to release her evidence before January 19. The full text of Bensouda’s evidence is available at www.jfjustice.net.

– The Star

Missing ICC witness’s kin record statements

Five people recorded statements Wednesday with police in Eldoret over the apparent kidnapping of an ICC witness linked to the Kenya cases.

The witness’s wife, his two brothers and two close friends recorded statements at the CID offices.

Some family members said they had received information the witness was snatched on Sunday by unknown people at Turbo.

They were in two black cars that sped towards Eldoret town, police were told.

The witness was reportedly bundled into one of the cars as soon as he left the shop where he had gone to buy water for his sick child.

“He had taken his child to hospital at Turbo together with his wife. While at the hospital, the child began vomiting and he decided to go buy water at the market at about midday, but he never returned,” said his elder brother, who cannot be named because ICC witnesses cannot be identified.

The family members said they are working with the police to trace the witness.

 

State asks ICC to withdraw DP Ruto’s case

The state has begun pushing for the winding up of the ICC case against Deputy President William Ruto as a high-profile meeting of the court’s signatory states in the US.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ICC case was dropped on December 5. Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Macharia Kamau requested the UN for “expeditious conclusion of the case” in a letter dated December 5.

There are fears that the collapse of the President’s case could strain the special relationship within the Jubilee administration, with the possibility that the prosecutors at The Hague could now tighten the noose around Ruto.

“The government of Kenya in appreciating the withdrawal of charges [against Uhuru], further calls on the expeditious conclusion of the case against the Deputy President as this would go a long way in facilitating normalcy in our country and securing our democracy and long term peace and security,” Kamau said.

On Sunday, Uhuru said he believes Ruto’s and journalist Joshua Sang’s cases will soon be concluded.

“We will continue to fight to ensure justice is done to them and they are released,” he said.

 

Raila congratulates Uhuru on ICC win

Cord leader Raila Odinga has congratulated President Uhuru Kenyatta following a decision by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to withdraw the charges against him at the International Criminal Court.

Raila said the President’s personal triumph is also of great significance to the country.

“It is my hope that with this burden taken away, my brother, President Uhuru Kenyatta will now focus all his energies and attention on serving the people of Kenya to the best of his ability. I wish him well in this noble task.” Raila said.

Cord co-principal, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula also congratulated Uhuru saying that this will now give the President ample time to execute his duties without dividing the nation.

Wetang’ula also wished Deputy President Willima Ruto and his co-accused journalist Joshua Arap Sang all the best in their cases. He said he hoped that they will also receive fair judgement and be set free to discharge their duties in the country.

 

ICC chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda drops charges against Uhuru

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague have withdrawn charges of crimes against humanity against the President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He had been indicted in connection with post-election ethnic violence in 2007-08, in which 1,200 people died

 

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President Uhuru Kenyatta share a jovial moment with Deputy President William Ruto after the ICC chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda dropped charges against him at State House, Nairobi.
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President Uhuru Kenyatta is congratulated by Lands Cabinet Sectetary Hon. Charity Ngilu after his ICC chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda dropped charges against him at State House, Nairobi
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President Uhuru Kenyatta is congratulated by Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal after the ICC chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda dropped charges against him at State House, Nairobi
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President Uhuru Kenyatta is congratulated by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen after the ICC chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda dropped charges against him at State House, Nairobi
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President Uhuru Kenyatta is congratulated by Lands Cabinet Sectetary Hon. Charity Ngilu after his ICC chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda dropped charges against him at State House, Nairobi
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President Uhuru Kenyatta is congratulated by Attorney General Githu Muigai after his ICC chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda dropped charges against him at State House, Nairobi

 

 

ICC judges give Bensouda one week to either withdraw or proceed with Uhuru’s case

Judges at the International Criminal Court at the Hague have rejected a request by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to adjourn the case against President Uhuru Kenyatta indefinitely.

Bensouda had on September 5 asked the court to adjourn Uhuru’s trial indefinitely, accusing the Kenyan government of failing to fully comply with its obligations to the Court.

Bensouda had said that she is in need of information held by the government in order to get enough evidence that can take the case into trial.

Trial Chamber V (B) judges directed the prosecution to file a notice within one week indicating its decision to either withdraw the charges against Kenyatta or proceed with the trial on the basis that the evidence has improved to a degree to justify this.