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Justice for Poll Violence Lies In Kenya

02 Nov

uhuruto_airport

In my Star column this weekend Justice For Poll Violence Lies In Kenya, I continue to make the case why the ICC cases should be terminated and/or brought back home for a local solution

Excepts:

According to the most recently published statistics, at least 3,000 Kenyans die annually in road accidents. 1,300 Kenyans were killed on the roads in the first five months of this year.

On the other hand, not including statistics for this year, there have been more than 11,272 Kenyans murdered in the country since the 2007 post-election violence. The number of people killed in those horrible days was roughly the same as those killed in road accidents just the first five months of this year alone.

Had the government pursued and prosecuted those who committed the PEV crimes when they occurred upon completion of investigations, we would not have been talking about crimes against humanity but about ordinary crimes, including murder.

The PEV crimes became “crimes against humanity” only because the government was unable to set up a mechanism by which those responsible for commission of the crimes would have been tried and herein lies the problem with the ICC process.

To be sure, the crude manner and barbaric nature of how some of these crimes were committed deserve all the condemnation possible and those who committed them must surely be found and prosecuted. But at the same time, it’s important to step back and evaluate at what cost? It’s by now widely accepted among many legal analysts who have examined these ICC cases that it’s highly unlikely any of the Kenyan suspects will be convicted.

A criminal trial is never about seeking justice for the victim. If it were, there could be only one verdict: guilty. That’s because only one person is on trial in a criminal case, and if that one person is acquitted, then by definition there can be no justice for the victim in that trial.

Those are not words of this writer but the words of world renowned American lawyer, jurist and prominent scholar Alan Dershowitz.

If neither Uhuru nor Ruto is going to be convicted in The Hague, it follows neither of them can be convicted anywhere else, including at home for crimes against humanity, which exist and can only be tried at the ICC.

It’s a classic catch-22 situation. But instead of remaining frozen where we are, where absolutely nothing is happening in the country but ICC talk and fixation, we ought to free ourselves by reaching a consensus. There’s no further need for the ICC. We should have these cases terminated and find a solution at home that comports with doling out of fair justice and bringing about closure for the victims.

At the minimum, a local solution can be fashioned to create a tribunal to try hundreds of other cases the government says it has tons of evidence the ICC prosecutor never bothered to look at. This would include, ostensibly, those of the actual killers and others who perpetuated these PEV crimes.

Separately, we can have a truth and justice tribunal similar to the post-apartheid Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, which can assess and award fair compensation for the victims and their families while creating an environment for Kenyans to put this tragic and dark days of our history behind and move on.

According to the most recently published statistics, at least 3,000 Kenyans die annually in road accidents. 1,300 Kenyans were killed on the roads in the first five months of this year.

On the other hand, not including statistics for this year, there have been more than 11,272 Kenyans murdered in the country since the 2007 post-election violence. The number of people killed in those horrible days was roughly the same as those killed in road accidents just the first five months of this year alone.

Had the government pursued and prosecuted those who committed the PEV crimes when they occurred upon completion of investigations, we would not have been talking about crimes against humanity but about ordinary crimes, including murder.

The PEV crimes became “crimes against humanity” only because the government was unable to set up a mechanism by which those responsible for commission of the crimes would have been tried and herein lies the problem with the ICC process.

– See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-142017/justice-poll-violence-lies-kenya#sthash.IOFAlIpb.dpuf

According to the most recently published statistics, at least 3,000 Kenyans die annually in road accidents. 1,300 Kenyans were killed on the roads in the first five months of this year.

On the other hand, not including statistics for this year, there have been more than 11,272 Kenyans murdered in the country since the 2007 post-election violence. The number of people killed in those horrible days was roughly the same as those killed in road accidents just the first five months of this year alone.

Had the government pursued and prosecuted those who committed the PEV crimes when they occurred upon completion of investigations, we would not have been talking about crimes against humanity but about ordinary crimes, including murder.

The PEV crimes became “crimes against humanity” only because the government was unable to set up a mechanism by which those responsible for commission of the crimes would have been tried and herein lies the problem with the ICC process.

– See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-142017/justice-poll-violence-lies-kenya#sthash.IOFAlIpb.dpu

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Posted by on November 2, 2013 in Law, Politics

 

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