The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) today received sealed information about persons suspected of being responsible for last year’s post-election violence in Kenya from Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary-general who helped mediate an end to the deadly clashes.
In a press release issued in The Hague, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said he had received a sealed envelope and supporting materials that had previously been entrusted to Mr. Annan – who is also the Chairman of the African Union Panel of Eminent African Personalities – by a commission investigating the violence that erupted in December 2007 and early 2008.
Mr. Moreno-Ocampo’s office has had the situation in Kenya under preliminary examination since last year, and last week a high-level Kenyan Government delegation visited The Hague to discuss the need for accountability for those responsible for the violence.
“The Kenyan authorities, while continuing all efforts to set up national proceedings, have committed to start sharing information on the current status of investigations and prosecutions arising out of the post-election violence, as well as on measures taken to protect witnesses, with a view to assisting the [ICC] Prosecutor’s work,” the press release noted.
If the efforts to conduct national proceedings fail, the Government agreed last week to refer the situation to the ICC within one year.
“The transmission of documents by Mr. Kofi Annan forms part of these collaborative efforts to ensure that justice is not delayed and that future crimes can be prevented,” Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said.
The ICC is an independent, permanent court that investigates and prosecutes people accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. It is based on a treaty known as the Rome Statute, of which 109 countries are now States Parties.