Britain has no role in Kenya ICC cases, say MPsBy ALPHONCE SHIUNDU in Nairobi | Thursday, May 10 2012 at 19:40
British MPs have met their Kenyan counterparts who sit in the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee and refuted reports that the UK had a hand in the ongoing prosecutions of Kenyans at the International Criminal Court.
At a meeting in Nairobi’s Parliament buildings Thursday, the MPs, together with the Interim British High Commissioner, Dr Peter Tibber, said the UK did not favour any side in Kenyan politics and had no preferred candidate in the next General Election.
The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Commons, Mr Richard Ottaway, said the ICC was not a “political tool”.
“We don’t play games with people’s rights in Britain. We respect the rule of law, we respect the operations of the courts, we don’t see it as a political tool,” said Mr Ottaway.
“That is not a political tool; it is a demand that the rule of law be followed.”
Mr Ottaway said they were not familiar with the details of the controversial document that alleged that the UK Government had been investigating President Mwai Kibaki, and that it was intent on having him tried at The Hague as soon as he left office.
“We haven’t seen them. We arrived this morning and picked up on this issue,” said Mr Ottaway as he promised that they would discuss the controversy with Kenyan MPs at a private meeting later on Thursday evening.
Before that, Dr Tibber had said: “Those documents are not genuine. They are forgeries. The views expressed in them are light-years removed from the policy of the British Government. They do not, in any way, represent the views of the British Government.”
Be a lesson
The Defence Committee, led by chairman Adan Keynan and members Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragwa), Wilson Litole (Sigor), Benedict Gunda (Bahari) and Kiema Kilonzo (Mutito) had asked the British MPs to shed light on the role of the Commonwealth, when it came to such issues as the ICC.
‘Does the Commonwealth club have a voice when it comes to matters of International Criminal Court? The African Union has a voice, but the Commonwealth seems to be wishing other members down that path quickly,” said Mr Kioni.
Mr Keynan and Mr Litole lobbied the MPs to push their government to use their Intelligence service to find out the source of the so called controversial UK dossier.
“We know how strong you are in terms of intelligence. Use that intelligence to tell us where the truth is. With your intelligence, you can tell us it was authored in Kenya, Uganda or Scotland, or something like that,” said Mr Litole.
Sir John Stanley, another British MP, lauded the Kenyan MPs for sending the suspected masterminds of the post-poll violence to The Hague. He termed the vote that sent the suspects to the ICC as “ground-breaking move” and a “very brave and important step in terms of international human rights significance”.
“It is inter-alia a matter for you and there’s no question of interference from the British Government,” said Sir John.
He said it could be a lesson for other African countries.
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