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Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta to brief MPs on ICC | NTV

Sources in Government indicated that the President spent much of Sunday in meetings with top advisors and aides over the critical decision on his trial for crimes against humanity relating to the 2007-2008 post-election violence.

 

President Uhuru Kenyatta during the State of the Nation address at the National Assembly’s Chamber in Parliament Buildings, Nairobi on March 27, 2014. Mr Kenyatta’s defence team has flown to The Hague, signalling that he is likely to tell a special session of Parliament Monday that he will honour the summons by the ICC.

By BERNAD NAMUNANE | Daily NATION

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s defence team has flown to The Hague, signalling that he is likely to tell a special session of Parliament Monday that he will honour the summons to attend Wednesday’s status conference at the International Criminal Court in person.
The Opposition alliance, Cord, Sunday said its MPs and senators will boycott the joint session.

Sources in Government indicated that the President spent much of Sunday in meetings with top advisors and aides over the critical decision on his trial for crimes against humanity relating to the 2007-2008 post-election violence.

By last evening, the President was yet to make known his final decision on the summons issued last week by the Trial Chamber headed by Judge Kuniko Ozaki. It is expected that he will reveal his intentions when he addresses the special joint session of the National Assembly and the Senate.

Senate Minority leader Moses Wetang’ula told a rally in Nairobi that Opposition legislators would skip Monday’s session because according to the Constitution, the President should only address the House on national, and not private, matters.

Senator Boni Khalwale took the same position, as did senators Otieno Kajwang of Homa Bay, James Orengo of Siaya and Johnstone Muthama of Machakos.

Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar said he will not attend the session out of respect for victims of the post-election violence.
However, Jubilee leaders, including Deputy President William Ruto, asked Kenyans to pray for the President to make the right decision over the summons to appear at the ICC. Whichever decision Mr Kenyatta makes will have far-reaching implications on the case.

STABILITY OF JUBILEE

At Menengai High School in Nakuru, Mr Ruto said that President Uhuru was in charge of the country and reaffirmed the stability of the Jubilee government and that no amount of political games or scheming will destabilise it.

“President Uhuru is a God appointed leader who was voted for by the majority in this nation and he will conquer the challenges ahead of him,” he said.

Mr Ruto, who also faces charges at the ICC, said the two cases were about to collapse.

In Nyeri, the Kikuyu Council of Elders said they will hold special prayers for the President today at Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga, a Kikuyu community shrine in Murang’a County.

The council national treasurer, Dr Simon Gichuru, said the ceremony will be conducted by more than 100 elders.

Last week, ICC’s Associated Legal Officer, Ms Daphne Vlachojannis, said that Mr Kenyatta’s case had reached a critical point.

“Given the critical juncture of proceedings and the matters to be discussed, the accused person must attend,” she said, quoting Judge Kuniko Ozaki’s ruling.

She said the session will discuss the fate of the requests by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to adjourn the case until Kenya provides all information requested and complaints that the Government had not been cooperating with the court. It will also discuss the defence team’s push to have the case terminated before for lack of evidence.

Ms Bensouda has argued that while the prosecution would ordinarily drop charges in the face of insufficient evidence, the failure by the Government to comply with requests for critical information on Mr Kenyatta’s financial records had forced her to seek adjournment.

The defence team on the other hand has accused Ms Bensouda of seeking to adjourn the case simply because she has no evidence.

The status conference could either adjourn the case or drop the charges against Mr Kenyatta, but should it find that the Government was sabotaging the case by refusing to comply with requests for information or intimidating witnesses, Kenya could be cited for non-cooperation. If that happens, the matter will be referred to the Assembly of State Parties for a decision.