ICC rules out immunity for Kenya's presidential aspirants

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda addressing the press at Serena hotel in Nairobi on October 22.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Monday warned that Kenya's Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto would not be granted immunity even if they won the coming elections. Read (Uhuru, Ruto for joint ticket)

Ms Bensouda further stated that the politics in Kenya would not destruct the judicial process by the ICC, which she insisted will continue uninterrupted.

Speaking at a media briefing, Ms Bensouda said the court has no plans of reorganising its calendar to give way for the Kenyan elections in which Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are key players.

“There is no immunity for International Crimes at the ICC. The judicial calendar at the court will not be altered. The ICC judges are not bound by any political processes,” Ms Bensouda stated.

Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are significant participants in Kenya’s largest election due next year.

The two have also crafted an alliance to face the elections together in order to increase their chances of winning.

The prosecutor is scheduled to meet top State officials including President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, members of the Cabinet sub committee on the ICC, the Chief Justice and the Attorney General.

Ms Bensouda, who is on a five-day visit, is expected to tour the hotspots of the 2008 post-election violence.

She is coming to Kenya as part of the ICC’s preparations for the trial of four Kenyans facing charges of crimes against humanity in April next year.

Her office has billed the visit as an interaction with victims of the 2007/08 post-election violence. (READ: ICC prosecutor seeks time to meet witnesses)

The ICC chief will tour Naivasha, Nakuru and Eldoret, visit IDP camps, and hold a meeting at the Kiambaa church where 17 people were burnt alive at the height of the violence.

This is the first time Ms Bensouda is visiting the country as the prosecutor.

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