The Hague, October 3, 2011 (FH) - Defence counsel of General Hussein Ali, Kenya's Police Commissioner during the post-electoral violence of 2007-2008, declared on Monday before the International Criminal Court (ICC) that it was "a complete absurdity" to accuse police forces of plotting with Mungiki's criminal gang.

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The Prosecution claims that Ali gave instructions to the police not to interfere with Mungiki activities in Naivasha and Nakuru as they sought revenge on non-Kikuyu people.

According to Gershom Otachi, not a single police officer was ordered to "cooperate or to be lenient with Mungiki (...) This is not a group that the police want ever to be associated with", he stated after highlighting that Mungiki was a criminal sect.

He explained that police forces could not possibly participate in ethnic violence as its members originate from more than 40 different ethnic groups. He cited as an example the diverse ethnic composition of police forces in Nakuru and Naivasha, the two cities were Mungiki allegedly killed hundreds of people.

"These policemen have families living in the areas where they were supposed to intervene. Therefore, it is unimaginable they would follow orders that endangered their families", he explained.

Police had to face "a scenario of locals just going mad", the Defence counsel argued.

He also denied the Prosecutor's assertion that policemen were anti-Kikuyu and anti-UNP (President Mwai Kibaki's party), stating that police forces were simply overtaken by events. Relying on the testimonies of about a hundred policemen he claimed to have met during his investigation, he added that "most of the time they found it difficult to identify the perpetrators" of the violence.

He concluded by saying that without police forces, "Kenya today could be one huge graveyard".

General Ali Hussein will testify himself on Wednesday, the last day of the confirmation of charges hearings.

Uhuru Kenyatta, Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura and Postmaster General Mohammed Hussein Ali are suspected of crimes against humanity committed during 2007-2008 violence. The three are currently seeking to convince the judges that the allegations brought against them are not solid enough to justify a trial.

The hearings are scheduled to continue until October 5. A decision on the holding of a trial is expected before Christmas.


© Hirondelle News Agency