The Hague, April 7, 2011 (FH) - The International Criminal Court (ICC) held on Thursday a meeting to set up a confirmation of charges hearing in the case of threes Kenyan suspected of crimes against humanity committed in December 2007 in the aftermath of the Presidential election.

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The three men are leaders of the main opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) : Education Minister William Ruto currently suspended because of corruption accusations; former 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.

William Ruto is currently a member of Parliament for the ODM and a potential candidate to the next presidential election. He told the court he was "an innocent man", claiming that "the accusations made against him could only exist in a movie". Wiliam Kosgey, who resigned in January 2011, was standing next to him.

Joshua Sang, wearing a sling because of a recent accident, also said he was an " innocent journalist". Now a producer at Radio Kass FM, he explained that his rights had been violated as the Prosecutor never met him during his investigation.

The confirmation of charges hearing was scheduled for September 1st.

The three suspects were appearing free before the court. However, Presiding Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova stressed that "It came to the knowledge of the Chamber by way of following some articles in the Kenyan newspapers that there are some movements towards retriggering the violence in the country by way of using some dangerous speeches. I would like to remind the suspects - and I'm not referring to anyone in particular but this is a general point to be made to all the suspects - that such type of action could be perceived as a sort of inducement which may constitute the breach of one of the conditions set out in the summonses to appear, namely, to continue committing crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court. Accordingly, this might prompt the Chamber to replace the summonses to appear with warrants of arrest (...)."

Three other suspects, this time close to Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki have been summoned to appear on April 8.


© Hirondelle News Agency