ICC rejects Kenya suspects' bid for oral submissionsBy OLIVER MATHENGE in Nairobi | Tuesday, May 8 2012 at 15:53
Kenya's Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former head of Public Service Francis Muthaura have lost a bid to be heard in person by the International Criminal Court Appeals Chamber.
The judges have ruled that they have enough material to make a ruling and therefore do not need to hear the two orally.
“As acknowledged by Mr Kenyatta and Mr Muthaura, the submissions on the jurisdictional challenges before the Pre-Trial Chamber, as well as the submissions in this regard on appeal, are voluminous and detailed.
“Therefore, in the Appeals Chamber’s view, further oral submissions are not required,” the judges said.
The judges said they were not convinced that an oral hearing was the most effective method of “scrutinising the substantive merits of the parties’ submissions”.
They added that to convene an oral hearing at this date, would not only be unnecessary, but would unduly affect the expeditious resolution of the appeal.
“Regarding Mr Kenyatta and Mr Muthaura’s submission that an oral hearing will serve to guarantee the public nature of the proceedings, the Appeals Chamber notes that the submissions in this appeal are public and that the publicity of the proceedings is therefore guaranteed,” the judges said.
Mr Kenyatta and Mr Muthaura are facing crimes against humanity over the 2007/2008 post-election violence, have been challenging the jurisdiction of the ICC on their case.
They made an appeal on January 30 following the pre-trial chamber ruling on January 23 that the ICC has jurisdiction over the case.
On April 25, the two requested that they be heard orally. This is the request the the judges have rejected.
In their submissions, Mr Kenyatta and Mr Muthaura argued that an oral hearing would serve to guarantee the public nature of the proceedings, “particularly given the intense public interest in this case in Kenya, Africa and the wider international community”.
Mr Kenyatta and Mr Muthaura also submitted that granting an oral hearing would not cause delay, but rather “complement the ongoing deliberations of the Appeals Chamber, and assist in respect of any issue which may require further clarification”.
They also argued that since the trial in their case had not commenced “no delay will be caused by oral argument taking place as part of the appeal”.
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