The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) today requested that the tribunal issue summons against six Kenyan citizens for alleged crimes committed during the violence that erupted following the country’s general elections in December 2007.
“The post election period of 2007-2008 was one of the most violent periods of the nation’s history,” the prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said at a press conference at the ICC headquarters in The Hague today, adding that there are reasonable grounds to believe crimes against humanity were committed.
The prosecutor said that more than 1,100 people were killed, 3,500 injured and up to 600,000 forcibly displaced during 30 days of violence. There were hundreds of rapes, possibly more, and over 100,000 properties were destroyed in six of Kenya’s eight provinces.
“These were not just crimes against innocent Kenyans,” Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said. “They were crimes against humanity as a whole. By breaking the cycle of impunity for massive crimes, victims and their families can have justice. And Kenyans can pave the way to peaceful elections in 2012.”
Those named by Mr. Moreno-Ocampo are: William Samoei Ruto, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology; Henry Kiprono Kosgey, the Minister of Industrialization; Joshua Arap Sang, the Head of Operations for KASS FM radio station; Francis Kirimi Muthaura, the Head of the Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet; Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; and Mohamed Hussein Ali, the Police Commissioner at the time of the violence.
The judges of the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber II will now review the evidence. If they determine that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the six persons named committed the alleged crimes, they will decide on the most appropriate way to ensure their appearance in Court. The prosecution has requested “Summonses to Appear.”