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Kenya case: 93 victims now pull out of the case while accusing ICC of denying them their right to have Lawyer Njenga Mwangi to represent them

Posted by African Press International on June 7, 2013

Nairobi, Kenya: 93 Post Election Violence victims registered by the International Criminal Court (ICC) have decided to withdraw from the cases facing President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.

They wrote a letter to The Victims and Witness office based at The Hague telling them of their decision to withdraw. In their letter they inform the office that they no longer have confidence in the process. They feel they are being taken for a ride by the prosecution. The letter reportedly is signed by The victims led by the chairman George Njoroge, a group under the banner of Amani Peace Building and Welfare Organization.

They think the prosecutor is using them as stepping-stones. The first Chief prosecutor Moreno Ocampo, they say, used them and on expiry of his contract at the ICC he got a lucrative job in the IOC – the powerful section of the Olympics drug watchdog.

Now they believe that the new Chief Prosecutor is doing the same for self-gain.

The group have accused the ICC of having not investigated their cases properly, saying they now want to live in peaceful co-existence with their neighbours. Life is back to normal now and any more problems caused by the court will not serve to bring unity in our society the group has stated.

They are saddened that the first lawyer forced on them by the ICC, Ms Sureta Chana, did not discus with the ICC what the victims had told her. Instead, she raised issues of no interest and benefit to them (the victims) when she presented the case at the ICC, they say.

“The issues that we discussed were not put forward to the court because the version that we are now hearing is different from the true position,” they said.

They are even bitter now that they have beei\n forced to accept another lawyer, not of their choice, lawyer Wilfred Nderitu. They say they do not understand why the ICC refused to grant them their wish – that they unanimously picked Nairobi Lawyer Njenga Mwangi to represent them.

They claimed that they had unanimously picked lawyer Njenga Mwangi to represent them but the court declined and picked Chana and currently Wilfred Nderitu.

The group say they have now filed their case at the High court in Kenya and will no longer participate in any trial at the ICC in the Hague. This move will complicate things for Chief Prosecutor Bensouda.

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