By Christine Muchira
Attorney General Prof. Githu Muigai has ruled out the extradition of the three Kenyans wanted by ICC to face charges for witness tampering.
Muigai says the Kenyan courts are competent enough to handle their cases and subsequently wants ICC to hand over the necessary investigative materials for the prosecution process to commence locally.
“Kenya reserves her right under the Rome Statute to demand respect for the principle of complementarity and moving forward, without prejudice to the ongoing cases, shall be engaging the ICC in seeking the handover of the investigation files, evidence and requisite information to support the preferring of charges and subsequent prosecution of the three accused locally. ” said Muigai.
“The Government of Kenya welcomes the setting up of the International Crimes Division on the High Court of Kenya, which the Executive has been requesting for establishment since 2012. This will provide the framework to address all other outstanding cases, ” he added.
The Attorney General maintains that while the allegations on the three are serious, their crimes falls within Kenya judicial jurisdiction.
“These are indeed serious charges alleging interference with the Administration of Justice under Art. 70 of the Rome Statute, ” said AG Muigai.
The three Kenyans have their arrest warrants unsealed by the International Criminal Court for alleged witness interference.
“During the pendency of the hearings before the Pre Trial and Trial Chambers, there has been the issue of outstanding arrest warrants issued against Walter Barasa, Paul Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett for alleged witness interference.” Muigai said.
The country has been warned by the Hague based court that it will face unspecified consequences should it fail to surrender the suspects.
In the meantime, the AG said a comprehensive political programme has been designed by the government to reconcile the country and deepen national healing and cohesion.
“The Government of Kenya is committed to working together with our partners in securing enhanced support to victims of the Post-Election Violence as well as all other victims of crime and injustice, ” said Muigai
He noted that so far the Government of Kenya has spent over Kshs. 17 billion in resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons and a further commitment of Kshs. 6 billion is envisioned for the coming financial year.
The Attoney General said that the government has rolled out a comprehensive political programme designed to reconcile the country and deepen national healing and cohesion.
“We welcome true partnership in this endeavour and in the delivery of the justice, peace and reconciliation objectives that we aspire,” he added.