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Kenya politics > ODM drops case against PNU – ODM leaders may be the ones to face the tribunal after all

Posted by African Press International on December 30, 2008

Try poll violence suspects locally, says minister

By Peter Atsiaya

ODM has rescinded its decision to take PNU to The Hague over post-election violence, Lands Minister James Orengo has said.

Mr Orengo said the move was to give the proposed local tribunal opportunity to deal with perpetrators of the violence that claimed more than 1, 000 lives and left thousands homeless.

“We have decided not to go ahead with plans to have International Criminal Court (ICC) investigate and try leaders in PNU who were in charge of the Government during the skirmishes,” said the Ugenya MP.

Speaking in Kisumu on Sunday, Orengo said a plan to set up a local tribunal to deal with the matter was positive.

“It is not fair to exhibit Kenyans to the international community. A home grown solution was the best way of dealing with the matter,” he said.

Orengo said Kenya was a sovereign and should not move to a level where ICC is allowed to assume the responsibility of the Judiciary.

Orengo was quick to add that if the local tribunal would not deal with the matter exhaustively ICC should step in as proposed by the Waki Report.

“The tribunal should not be used to protect some powerful leaders because Kenyans want to bring to an end the era of impunity,” he said.

ODM, PNU and NGOs had presented their complaints to ICC for investigations and prosecution.

“If ICC declares that issues raised by ODM merit investigations and trial they are free to move in,” he said.

He went on: ” May be issues raised by our party might not be exactly what the tribunal would be dealing with.”

The minister said the tribunal should not leave any loopholes that would warrant ICCs intervention.

Orengo called on leaders in the Government not to interfere with the tribunal once set up.

“We are aware that some influential leaders in the Government, who fear being touched, might use their positions to frustrate the work of the tribunal for their selfish good,” he said.

Orengo said the Government must show commitment to ending the culture of impunity.

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