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Friday, April 9, 2010

ICC to investigate 20 suspects (aka thug masterminds of post election violence)

Investigators from The Hague have arrived in Kenya. The advance team from the International Criminal Court will begin gathering evidence into the post-election chaos.

The Hague investigators arrived on Thursday morning ahead of Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo who is expected early next month. Ms Beatrice Le Fraper Du Hellen, the ICC’s director for Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division said in an interview from The Hague, "The Office of the Prosecutor will not comment on investigations because of the principle of integrity. We will not investigate through the media, but we will keep informing the public on the stage of investigations." Ms Hellen said that the move marks a new phase in nailing the perpetrators of the violence that followed the disputed 2007 presidential election.

The team that arrived on Thursday is expected to link up with the ministries of Internal Security, Justice and Constitutional Affairs and the Attorney-General’s Chambers. They will also meet agencies that played a key role in investigating the chaos to establish contacts with potential witnesses. Ms Hellen said The Hague had many ways to bring in investigators. "We have a lot of ways of deploying investigators. People will be coming in and going. We don’t necessarily open offices anywhere," she said.

The ICC move comes after the Pre-Trial Chamber gave Mr Moreno-Ocampo the green light to open investigations on Kenya. Mr Moreno-Ocampo had sought permission from the chamber after the government’s attempts to have the suspects tried on Kenyan soil by a local tribunal were frustrated by Parliament. The prosecutor has presented 20 names, among them ministers and businesspeople, to the judges. However, he expected to file only two cases involving six suspects. Mr Moreno-Ocampo has said the investigations, which he hopes to conclude by the end of the year, will be quick, robust, independent and impartial.

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