Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Muthaura statement: I'm not running a think tank

I was shocked to read an entirely fabricated story by the Standard Newspaper of today Tuesday, January 11, 2011 in which it is recklessly alleged I am working closely with an informal secretariat established in the Office of the President, ostensibly with the objective of helping Kenya develop a strategy for exiting from the Rome Statute.

I wish at the earliest opportunity to inform Kenyans and the International Criminal Court that the Standard story by Ben Agina and Beauttah Omanga is a malicious fabrication. Let me state categorically that:

• There is no informal secretariat or “think tank” established at the Office of the President to subvert the ICC.

• Therefore cannot be and am not closely associated with any such non-existent team.

• The Government has formal institutions within which it transparently discharges its core mandate and  thus Government cannot discharge its legal and Constitutional duties informally.

• The Standard’s “think tank” of the six persons who are the focus of an application by the ICC prosecutor for summons does not exist.

I can therefore only imagine that the underlying motive in the Standard story is malicious, as the same can only achieve the objective of undermining my standing before the ICC, a Court to which, according to my Statement of 15th December, I have respectfully submitted myself to. I had then stated:

‘I respect the ICC as an Institution… I believe in the rule of law domestically and internationally. I always will. Accordingly, I am content to trust the judges of the ICC to independently review the evidence, and consider the Prosecutor’s application and to co-operate with any requests the judges of that Court may have of me.’
I still hold the same views.

To the extent that the Standard story must have been meant to prejudice my standing before the ICC, the Prosecutor and Judges, the Standard Newspaper and the two authors of the story have begun to try me in the Public Domain, whereas very serious allegations have already been made before the ICC.

Articles 34 and 33 of the Constitution on freedoms of the media and expression do not allow any media house or journalist to purvey fabricated stories which malign people or institutions. A fabricated story of this nature has the precise effect of creating the impression that I am part of a non-existent team to undermine the role of the ICC and is an unfortunate abuse of the freedoms of the media which are guaranteed in our new Constitution.

Both Articles 55 and 67 of the Rome Statute guarantee the rights of persons during an investigation and rights of an accused. By publishing the baseless and malicious story which has very serious implications on me personally, the Office of the President and our Country’s standing in the International Community, the Standard Newspaper has infringed my rights under Article 55. I have instructed my lawyers to draw the attention of the ICC Prosecutor to the Standard Story and the falsehood contained therein, and in the meantime shall seek for publication of a substantiation of the story failing which I demand an appropriate apology from the Standard Newspaper and the two journalists for writing and publishing a fabricated story concerning me.


12 January 2011

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