Tuesday, June 16, 2009



The Standard Team
June 16 2009

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo has said perpetrators of post-election violence will not be tried at the International Criminal Court.

Mutula assured Kenyans a local tribunal would be set up even as he plans to travel to Geneva next month, to meet the ICC prosecutor and judges.

"I will lead a delegation to The Hague to discuss the issue of perpetrators of post-election violence and we will brief you," he said.

Mutula said he would meet the prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo and give him the Kenyan perspective of trying suspects in The Hague or a local tribunal.

"I will discuss with him what politicians think, the media and I will even take with me press cuttings. But I want to assure you I am committed to ensuring a local tribunal is set up," he added.

The Minister said: "I want to banish the thought that Kenyans will be sent to The Hague."

Mutula, however, said the tribunal would be set up at our own pace and not through ultimatums.

Lack independence

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in an interview with BBC, last week, warned he would hand over the envelope containing names of perpetrators of post-election violence to ICC, if Kenya fails to set up a local tribunal by August.

The Minister was speaking at the Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC) offices to familiarise himself with their workings.

The KLRC is mandated to spearhead law reform and review the laws of Kenya, eliminate anomalies and repeal absolute enactments and its simplification and modernisation.

The Minister asked the commission to come up with a draft referendum law that should be ready before next year.

"By June next year, Kenyans will be preparing to go for referendum to get a new constitution," he told the commissioners.

The KLRC chairman Kathurima M’Inoti said the commission lacked independence hence couldn’t discharge its functions fully.

The Minister acknowledged that under the law, the commission falls under the Attorney General but administratively, it answers to the Justice Ministry.

Mutula gave the commission authority to operate independently.