Investigators From ICC Seek Fresh Evidence

Written By Michael Maunda on Monday, June 18, 2012 | 9:06 AM

The ICC is looking again at fresh evidence against former Police Commissioner Major General (Rtd) Hussein Ali, the Star has established. Yesterday, the Star learnt that police have snubbed ICC investigators who sought to question a senior officer in what has emerged to be renewed efforts to revive charges dropped by the courts last year. The senior officer was in charge of the police officers sent to Kibera to quell violence during the 2008 post-election violence.

Former ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo had indicated to the court his intention to continue investigations into Ali's alleged role in the violence in Nairobi's Kibera slum and Kisumu. This is after ICC judges on March 8 last year ruled that the prosecutor had presented insufficient evidence to link the Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, former Head of Public Service Ambassador Francis Muthaura and Ali to events in Kibera and Kisumu.

The court, however, confirmed charges against Uhuru and Muthaura on other grounds. Also confirmed were charges against Eldoret North MP William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang, while Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey was set free. However, the judges noted there were reasonable grounds to believe that police shot and killed more than 60 people in Kisumu, and that police killed and raped civilians in Kibera.

Ali, Muthaura and Uhuru were facing charges of crimes against humanity which include murder, deportation or forcible transfer, rape and other forms of sexual violence, other inhumane acts and persecution. On the other side, Kosgey, Ruto and Sang were facing charges of crimes against humanity of murder, deportation or forcible transfer and persecution.

The judges ruled that Ocampo had failed to demonstrate that crimes in Kibera and Kisumu were part of a wider state policy, so that they would fall within the court’s jurisdiction. “The material presented by the prosecutor does not provide reasonable grounds to believe that the events which took place in Kisumu and/or in Kibera can be attributed to Muthaura, Kenyatta and/or Ali under any mode of liability,” the judges said in their ruling.

Ocampo told the court that he considered what happened in Kibera and Kisumu to be important, adding that it was sad the judges declined to include the crimes committed in the charges when he made the application to have the suspects summoned. Ocampo said that while he accepted the judges' ruling, he reserved the right to continue investigating Ali and Kosgey.

Yesterday, the Star established that senior assistant commissioner of police James Mwaniki, who was in-charge of the police officers who were deployed to quell violence in Kibera slum in 2007, had declined to record statements with ICC. He directed that ICC should seek consent from police commissioner Mathew Iteere. Mwaniki is the third in command at GSU headquarters.

Kibera and Kisumu were some of the post-election violence hot spots where Ocampo was unable to gather sufficient evidence to sustain the trial of Ali. The Commission of Inquiry into the Post-Election Violence revealed that 1,100 people who died during the violence were killed by the police while another 557 were injured in the two areas.

Yesterday, GSU commandant William Saiya said he was not aware of any attempts by the ICC to question Mwaniki. Saiya said Mwaniki has been out of office for the last six weeks and he was not aware of any intentions by authorities to get information about police operations in Kibera or Kisumu during the post-election violence.

He also declined to comment on whether the ICC has formally requested for information from his office and said only police commissioner Mathew Iteere was in a position to comment on the issue. Neither Iteere nor Internal Security PS Mutea Iringo could be reached for comment as they were busy with the burial preparations of the late Internal Security minister George Saitoti and his deputy Orwa Ojode.

Police deputy spokesman Charles Owino Wahongo said the police are not aware of ICC investigations in Kenya. He said the police are not part of the ICC investigations and that their mandate is limited to local probes. "I am not aware of any intentions of ICC to conduct investigations in the country but I am sure they will follow the right procedure in dealing with the relevant government offices," Owino said.

Asked what the ICC investigators were probing, ICC field outreach officer in Kenya Maria Kamara said she was not in a position to comment on such an issue because it was of an investigative nature. "As you know, registry staff wouldn't know about investigative related issue," she said and refereed us to another officer, Florence Olara, who since last Thursday is yet to respond to queries emailed to her by the Star.

Sources at GSU said the ICC investigators on February 26 visited Mwaniki in his office in Ruaraka and requested him to record statements about police operations in Kibera at the height of the violence but he declined.

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Source: The Star