The Hague, April 4, 2011 (FH)  - Kenyan government filed on March 31 an application before the International Criminal Court (ICC) asking the judges to quash the cases on the country's 2007 post-election violence on grounds that they are inadmissible.

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The 30-page application was submitted to the Pre-Trial Chamber by two famous lawyers, Sir Geoffrey Nice and Rodney Dixon, on behalf of Nairobi. It states that Kenya is now capable and willing to try the six men who are charged for their role in the violence which erupted after the Presidential election in December 2007.

ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo had been allowed to take over the Kenyan case on  March 31, 2010, after the Kenyan parliament failed to set up a special tribunal to judge six high Kenyan officials.

The six men - two of whom are candidates for the Presidential election in 2012 - are due to appear before the ICC on Thursday and Friday.  Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura and former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali are to appear on Friday, while former education minister William Ruto, Minister for Industrialisation Henry Kosgey and radio executive Joshua arap Sang are scheduled to make their initial appearance on Thursday.   

All of them are charged with crimes against humanity in relation to the post-election violence in Kenya in which 1,220 people were killed, 3,500 were injured and 350,000 displaced over a period of 30 days.

According to Nairobi, since the adoption of a new constitution in Kenya on August 2010, "National courts will now be capable of trying crimes from the post-election violence, including the ICC cases". Authorities claim that big reforms are under way even though "There have been differences and tensions in Government and in Parliament about the content and implementation of the reform process". However, "They should be acknowledged as a sign of health in a modern, pluralistic, parliamentary democracy".

In its application, Kenya requests a six month delay to complete its reforms including the designation of a Prosecutor independent from the government.

It also states that :"The Govermnent accepts that national investigations must, therefore, cover the same conduct in respect of persons at the same level in the hierarchy being investigated by the ICC. The Kenyan national investigative processes do extend to the highest levels for all possible crimes, thus covering the present cases before the ICC".

Sir Geoffrey Nice and Rodney Dixon note that refusing Kenya the right to try its own citizens "could even be regarded as sending an inappropriate message to those major countries - including some permanent members of the Security Council - that have not ratified the Rome Statute and who face or will face in time moral pressure to join the ICC and to make it a court of truly universal jurisdiction".


© Hirondelle News Agency