The Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) yesterday decided to issue summonses to appear for 6 individuals charged with crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Kenya during the post-election violence from December 2007. The six individuals are summoned to appear at the Court on 7 April 2011 for initial hearings on the charges, which so far include killing, forced displacement, persecution, rape and other inhumane acts as crimes against humanity.

Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Transnational Nonviolent Radical Party (TRP) welcome the Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision to issue summonses for six persons to appear at the Court in relation to crimes committed during the post-election violence in Kenya in December 2007. We strongly encourage the six men named by the Court to participate fully in the ICC proceedings, and we urge the Kenyan Government to extend all possible cooperation to the ICC.”

“The Pre-Trial Chamber has found that, based on the evidence presented by the Prosecutor, there is reasonable basis to believe that the six men are criminally responsible for several extremely serious crimes – murder, forced displacement, persecution, rape and other inhumane acts. In the interests of the victims, the evidence cannot be ignored – the suspects are now invited to respond to the charges in a court of law”.

“The Kenyan Government is walking a delicate line in its current approach to the ICC. On one hand, Kenya has requested that the Security Council of the United Nations use its authority under Article 16 of the Rome Statute to defer the ICC’s Kenya investigation for a year, claiming that by pursuing the six suspects, the ICC could derail a delicate political rebuilding process. On the other hand, the Government has extended full cooperation to the ICC for the opening of a field office in Nairobi so that the Court can make contact with Kenyan victims and allow them to exercise their rights under the Rome Statute. NPWJ and the TRP commend both the ICC and the Kenyan Government for the speedy opening of the field office and encourage a similar level of cooperation in all other aspects of the Court’s work”.

“It is important to keep in mind that the Government of Kenya is sharply divided on the issue of cooperation with the ICC. Prime Minister Raila Odinga has stated clearly that the decision to request a deferral under Article 16 was not approved by the full Kenyan cabinet.[1] Security Council members and other States should avoid entertaining a request that important parts of the Government itself have denounced, in order to show their support for Kenya’s unity government”.

“NPWJ and the TRP urge the Government of Kenya to take all possible steps to ensure that the six suspects appear at the ICC in April. At the same time, Kenya should immediately move forward at the domestic level with investigations and prosecutions of other people responsible for crimes committed during the post-election violence. The ICC is only intended to deal with those bearing the greatest responsibility – in order to Kenya to fully break the cycle of impunity and prevent future election-related violence, the Government itself must make it clear that Kenya does not tolerate politically-motivated mass crimes. There is no need to defer the ICC investigation in order to move forward with the domestic process”.

For further information, contact Alison Smith on or +32-2-548 39 12 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-2-548-39 15.
[1] Raila disowns Kalonzo shuttle to block Hague, Daily Nation, 26 January 2011, available at: