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Archive for October 2nd, 2013

Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, on the Warrant of Arrest issued against Walter Barasa

Posted by African Press International on October 2, 2013

The Government of Kenya has received a warrant for the immediate arrest and transfer of Walter Barasa to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face criminal charges.  There is evidence to suggest that Walter Barasa tried to bribe someone he thought was a Prosecution witness in the case against Mr. Ruto.

The Office of the Prosecutor is taking action against those who are alleged to be corruptly influencing Prosecution witnesses.
The Prosecution has conducted a comprehensive investigation on the basis of documented allegations of witness interference, which continues to date. The evidence collected so far indicates that there is a network of people who are trying to sabotage the case against Mr. Ruto et al. by interfering with Prosecution witnesses. Walter Barasa, against whom compelling evidence has been collected, has been part of this network, and his actions fit into this wider scheme that the Office continues to investigate.
Under Article 70 of the Rome Statute, using bribes or threats to influence witnesses to change or recant their testimony is a crime. If found guilty, Walter Barasa faces up to five years in prison, a fine, or both.
We expect Kenyan authorities to arrest Walter Barasa and hand him over to the Court.  He will appear before ICC judges on charges of corruptly influencing and attempting to corruptly influence a person he believed to be a Prosecution witnesses.
The warrant was issued by the Single Judge of the Pre-Trial Chamber after he determined, on the basis of the evidence, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Walter Barasa corruptly influenced or attempted to influence a person he thought was a Prosecution witness.
During an initial hearing before ICC Judges, Walter Barasa will be informed of the crimes which he is alleged to have committed and of his rights under the Rome Statute. His plea will be entered and the Judges will then set a date for a hearing on the charges. At this subsequent hearing, the Judges will hear submissions from both the Prosecution and Walter Barasa’s Defence on whether his case should go to trial. If the charges are confirmed, the judges will set a trial date. These are the next steps in the case against Walter Barasa.
In the meantime, we continue to monitor and investigate all incidents of witness interference.
The issuance of an arrest warrant in this case should be a warning to others who may be involved in obstructing the course of justice through intimidating, harassing, bribing or attempting to bribe ICC witnesses. My Office will continue to do everything it can to ensure that witnesses are able to present their evidence before the Court without fear. Witnesses who have courage to come forward to testify deserve no less.
The ability of the Court to determine the truth in the Kenyan cases depends on the willingness of witnesses to come forward and present their evidence in the courtroom.  I admire and am grateful for the moral courage displayed by the witnesses involved in these cases.
Through my Office, I will do all within my power to protect the integrity of our cases and ensure that justice is allowed to run its course unobstructed.
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Arrest Warrant Unsealed in Kenya situation: Walter Barasa suspected of corruptly influencing witnesses

Posted by African Press International on October 2, 2013

 ICC-CPI-20131002-PR948

Situation: The Republic of Kenya
Case: The Prosecutor v. Walter Osapiri Barasa

Today, 2 October 2013, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) unsealed an arrest warrant against Walter Osapiri Barasa, Kenyan citizen, born in 1972. He is charged with several offences against the administration of justice including corruptly influencing or attempting to corruptly influence ICC witnesses. An under seal warrant of arrest was issued against him on 2 August 2013. This is the first case before the ICC where a suspect is charged with an offence against the administration of justice, in accordance with article 70 of the Rome Statute.

Judge Cuno Tarfusser, Single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber II, considered that the evidence presented by the Prosecutor established reasonable grounds to believe that Walter Barasa is criminally responsible as direct perpetrator for the crime of corruptly influencing or, alternatively, attempting to corruptly influence witnesses by offering to pay them to withdraw as ICC Prosecution witnesses in the context of the Kenyan cases before the ICC. Allegedly, he has been and is still acting in furtherance of a criminal scheme devised by a circle of officials within the Kenyan administration.

Based on the Prosecutor’s evidence, Judge Tarfusser also found that it is necessary to arrest Walter Osapiri Barasa to ensure his appearance at trial, to ensure that he does not obstruct or endanger the investigation or the proceedings, and to prevent him from continuing with the commission of the crime.

The International Criminal Court is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

 

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In Pictures: International Criminal Court persuing Kenya case

Posted by African Press International on October 2, 2013

http://www.nation.co.ke/photo/-/1951220/1986552/-/10ru1ez/-/index.html

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Norway to take in 1 000 Syrian refugees

Posted by African Press International on October 2, 2013

African Press International (API)

 

“The Government decided today to accept 1 000 Syrian refugees for resettlement to Norway. The war in Syria has led to an acute refugee situation. Syria’s neighbouring countries have taken in close to two million refugees. The capacity of these countries is at breaking point and the UNHCR has appealed to other countries to help,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

There is no immediate solution to the conflict in Syria in sight. So far the conflict has led to massive flows of refugees to Syria’s neighbouring countries. In mid-September some 730 000 Syrian refugees were registered in Lebanon, 520 000 were registered in Jordan, 464 000 in Turkey, 117 000 in Iraq and 117 000 in Egypt. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Syria’s neighbouring countries have appealed to countries outside the region to resettle some of the refugees currently living in Syria’s neighbouring countries as…

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Kenya: “Police reforms are vital and it would be disastrous if they were diluted at the 11th hour,” said Amnesty International’s deputy director for Africa Sarah Jackson

Posted by African Press International on October 2, 2013

African Press International (API)

  • BY PETER  MUKABI (RADIO PRESENTER SAHARA FM KENYA)

Human rights violations will worsen if the Government persists with attempts to amend key laws that regulate the police, a watchdog has warned.

Amnesty International (AI) on Tuesday said proposed amendments by Inspector-General David Kimaiyo to the reform package, which has been approved by Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku, will weaken it and eliminate safeguards that regulate the force.

“Police reforms are vital and it would be disastrous if they were diluted at the 11th hour,” said Amnesty International’s deputy director for Africa Sarah Jackson.

“The police have been acting as if they are above the law for years and the Government must honour the commitments it made after the post-election violence and carry through these reforms,” she added.

The National Police Service (Amendment) Bill 2013 and National Police Service Commission (Amendment) Bill 2013, which are meant…

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New hope for a lasting solution

Posted by African Press International on October 2, 2013

African Press International (API)

The international group of donors to Palestine has expressed its strong support for the new round of negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians 20 years after the Oslo Accords. “The donors want to contribute, but it is the Palestinian and Israeli leaders who are responsible for ensuring that this opportunity is not lost,” said Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.

On 25 September, Mr Eide chaired the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for Assistance to the Palestinians (AHLC) in New York. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted the meeting, and the parties were represented by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Israeli Prime Minister Yuval Steinitz.

“It’s extremely good news that a political process is once again underway. At the same time, we know that reaching a solution will be challenging. President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu have taken courageous steps. Time is running out for a two-state solution. This is…

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