Magazine article New African

Kenya: Ocampo's Bombshell Leaves ICC Flat on Its Face

Magazine article New African

Kenya: Ocampo's Bombshell Leaves ICC Flat on Its Face

Article excerpt

The International Criminal Court (ICC) cases against the Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, and his deputy William Ruto were bound to fail. The question was when would they fail and who would be embarrassed? Wanjohi Kabukuru provides the answers.

Luis Moreno Ocampo, the dashing former ICC prosecutor who initiated the cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, has finally spilled the beans. In an exclusive interview with Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW) in early February 2014, Ocampo revealed that the Kenyan ICC cases were trumped up charges by Western foreign envoys who had asked him to block Kenyatta and Ruto from contesting Kenya's presidency.

There were some diplomats asking me to do something more to prevent Kenyatta of Ruto from running in the elections" Ocampo told the RNW. "And I said it 's not my job. Judges in Kenya should do that. And if they authorise them to run, people will vote. And if people vote for them, We have nothing to say."

As expected, Ocampo's disclosures in the RNW interview have excited the Kenvan public. As God will have it, his revelations came two weeks after Ruto's lawyer, Karim Khan, had said at the ICC while cross-examining a witness that USAID and the former US ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger, had tried to implicate his client in the 2007-08 post-election violence. Thus, Ocampo's confession could not have come at a better time for Ruto and Kenyatta.

While for the last four years the ICC has claimed it had a water-tight case. Ocampo's weighty confession is a severe embarrassment to the Court. In the last few months, Ocampo's successor Fatou Bensouda has had a difficult time keeping the cases together, with dozens of witnesses withdrawing and recanting their testimonies.

In Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, the ICC cases have largely been seen as the worst political secret surrounding the "Kibaki succession". The Kenyan civil society caucus who were embedded in the charade by the EU and US diplomatic corps in Nairobi to have their favoured men succeed the then outgoing President Mwai Kibaki, have now been exposed as the dirty faces behind the attempt to lock out Kenyatta and Ruto from the presidency, using the cover of the ICC.

The position taken by the EU and US was largely interpreted as "neo-colonialism" as the ICC cases were more politically-oriented than justice-focused. The voting pattern which saw Uhuru and Ruto winning against their main rival, ex-Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who had led the opinion polls for more than five years, was a protest vote by Kenyans against the Western interference in the country's internal affairs.

By coming out of the closet, Ocampo has confirmed the consistent narrative that Kenyatta and Ruto have long held - that they were innocent and that the West was using the ICC to prop up a puppet regime in Kenya.

And what is worse, Ocampo's revelations are nor only humiliating to the ICC and its EU paymasters, they have also done more harm than good for the political ambitions of Raila Odinga, who is reinventing himself in readiness for the 2017 presidential race.

The strange envelope

It is interesting to note that all the ICC cases against the various Kenyans named by the Court came about from a simple envelope. When the Kenyan judge. Justice Philip Waki, was appointed of chair what became the Commission of Inquiry into the Post Election Violence (CIPEV) in 2008, not much was expected of him. No one anticipated that he would be the person who would set the ball rolling in determining Kenya's fourth president, and the eventual embarrassment of the IOC and biased diplomats.

In Justice Waki's mind his commission was above board in ensuring justice was done. Unlike previous commissions of inquiry in Kenya, Waki's was going to be different. He knew how the findings of such commissions had been but time-buying gimmicks for the Executive. …

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