The Hague, March 8, 2011 (FH) - Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued on March 8 summonses to appear against six high profile Kenyans. The six men are expected to appear before the Court on April 7 for their first hearing.

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Prosecutor had requested the judges to issue the summonses on December 15. However, no arrest warrants have been issued yet against the suspects who remain free.

Two separate trials might be organized. The first would target three officials of the then government: Uhuru Kenyatta, Finance minister and son of Kenya's founding leader, Jomo Kenyatta; General Hussein Ali, the former police chief, and Francis Muthaura, President of the National security Committee.

The second trial would involve leaders of the main opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) : Education Minister William Ruto currently suspended because of corruption accusations; minister for Industrialization Henry Kosgey, and local radio executive Joshua Arap Sang. According to the prosecution, the three men planned the post-election violence in the Rift Valley.

These personalities might be indicted later for crimes against humanity in what the prosecutor calls an orchestrated campaign to displace, torture, persecute and kill civilians during Kenya's election crisis in 2007 and early 2008. Over 1,100 people had been killed and 300,000 displaced, according to a Kenyan investigation committee.

The case was opened in March 2010. This was the first time that Luis Moreno-Ocampo has stepped in on his own initiative, without a request from the home country or by the United Nations Security Council. He took this decision after Kenyan authorities failed to set up a special tribunal to prosecute the killings.


© Hirondelle News Agency