“ICC acts tough on Uhuru’s assets, phone records” Daily Nation, July 30.
The International Criminal Court has directed that the Kenyan government be compelled to provide the property and financial records associated with President Uhuru Kenyatta if the government was not ready to fully cooperate.
In a ruling on Tuesday, the judges further unanimously endorsed the prosecution’s revised request that Attorney-General Githu Muigai had contested during the status conference on July 9.
The AG seems to have lost his argument, as the Trial Chamber V (B) ruled that the prosecution’s request was right within the provisions of the Rome Statute of cooperation.
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The judges further directed the prosecution to “pursue all possible means to get Mr Kenyatta’s telephone records.
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Of the items that Ms Bensouda had requested she was only able to obtain the details of four the vehicles Mr Kenyatta owned or regularly used between November 1, 2007 and April 1, 2008. These were obtained with the consent of the accused.
In fact, Lands secretary Charity Ngilu, in a letter that was read to the court, said that “doing the best with the resources and time available to us, we have not located any land, title or property registered under the name of Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.”
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The Chamber also trashed arguments by the AG that the “work of prosecution investigators was being outsourced to the Kenyan government”. The judges, Kuniko Ozaki, Geoffrey Henderson and Robert Fremr, also validated the extensive requests by ICC prosecutors.
“It is a reasonable investigative premise that an accused with access to substantial resources may choose to act through various intermediary entities, as this would in particular, reduce the traceability of transactions intended to further a criminal purpose,” they said.
Githu had dismissed the request by Prosecution Chief Fatou Bensouda as irrelevant to the charges and too broad. The wide-ranging requests, which were made public for the first time late Tuesday seeks disclosure of the President’s records for about three years beginning June 1, 2007 to December 15, 2010.
“Investigations inquiries may not be confined merely to the immediate period of the violence,” the judges ruled. “In the context of certain records, a longer time period may also be justified for comparison purposes where pattern of activity may be significant in revealing unusual communication or transactions.”
This is the second time the ICC Judges are asking the Kenyan authorities to use compulsion to comply with its cooperation obligations to the court. The judges have threatened to refer Kenya to the Assembly of State Parties if it declines to disclose the records.
Already, a separate chamber has issued orders to the govern- ment to compel nine witnesses to testify against Deputy President William Ruto and his co-accused, journalist Joshua Sang. Uhuru’s trial is set to begin on October 7.
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If you are in Washington for the Africa Summit or otherwise on August 7 you can have dinner with H.E. Kenyatta at the Grand Hyatt from 7-9pm, sponsored by the Corporate Council on Africa, for $200 if you are not a member of the Council, or $100 if your are. Members (only) may wish to join H.E. Teodoro Obiang of Equitorial Guinea, starting at 6pm that night at the St. Regis. Perhaps with a good driver you can catch both. To register follow the links here; the Council is also hosting several less controversial events surrounding the Summit.