Without Ocampo’s Evidence, Kenya is Groping in the Dark

The latest from The Hague is that Kenya through its British lawyers has 1. filed an updated report of the investigations against the Ocampo Six and 2. appealed against a decision denying it access to evidence held by Prosecutor Ocampo.

The energy by which the government is seeking Ocampo’s evidence can be only be summed as an act of desperation. It’s like a fat cat that is desperately trying to save its kittens from a burning building.

Having followed the ICC process since it took over from the Waki Commission and reading though the different documents by the government to the Appeals Chamber, one senses that Kenyan authorities have been hitting a dead-end at every turn. In the end, it points at a government that never cared about what had happened during the chaos or even worse who was responsible.

The CID has even admitted in the latest report that they cannot trace 5 people who recorded statements with their offices in Rift Valley in June 2008 in which they allege that William Ruto attended meeting where discussions revolved around arming perpetrators. They have even concluded that the 5 could be among Kenyans that have been flown out of the country by Ocampo as his witnesses.

What is even more amazing is that even if Ocampo has taken away potential witnesses, the CID cannot get anyone to corroborate the statements received by their officer three years ago. And this is the reason that the government wont rest until it gets its hands on the evidence that Ocampo holds against the six suspects.

I am among those who believe that Kenya has the right to try its own citizens and thus the right to ask ICC to have the cases refered back home. It’s actually the political nature of ICC as has been evidenced by the US (which is not even a signatory to the Rome Statute but a financier) dictating to Kenya on what to do with Bashir that makes me have little faith in the court.

But that not withstanding, the latest report by the CID which has taken close to two months to produce points to an authority that is either incompetent or one that is unwilling to get to the bottom of the matter. The CID is trying to convince everyone that the Ocampo Six would have been mentioned in police occurrence Books on incidents recorded during the chaos.

The report even alleges that a review of newspaper, radio and TV clippings run before and during the violence do not link any of the suspects to “incitement, instigation or planning”. I think this is an insult to the intelligence of millions of Kenyans and even the ICC.

To insult the intelligence of the ICC judges further, the CID reports that they are seeking to review the Waki and KNCHR reports in order to draw out any evidence that may link the Ocampo Six to the violence. The two reports are three years old and its amazing that the investigative arm of a government is reviewing them now.

The bottom line is that Kenyan authorities failed to act early and well enough to gather the evidence before Ocampo did. All the evidence and witnesses that could have aided local trials may now be with The Hague and, just maybe, Kenya getting its hands on them may be another mirage.


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