Wednesday, April 6, 2011

6 Kenyans to appear at The Hague on 'crimes against humanity' charges

Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) -- Six Kenyan political leaders who are accused of crimes against humanity following the country's disputed 2007 elections will make their first appearance Thursday before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The court's top prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, named the six as suspects in December, claiming they organized violence that left more than 1,000 people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands more.

The suspects are Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura, former national police chief Hussein Ali, former Agriculture Minister William Ruto, radio journalist Joshua Arap Sang and opposition leader Henry Kosgey.

Three are from one side of the political dispute, and three are from the other.

Last month, Kenya challenged the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, saying its own authorities will investigate and prosecute the cases on Kenyan soil. The Netherlands-based court calls itself, on its website, as "an independent international organization ... established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community."

Kenya's disputed presidential election sparked chaos that escalated into ethnic violence pitting supporters of incumbent President Mwai Kibaki against those of challenger Raila Odinga, who was later named prime minister in a power-sharing agreement.

Muthaura, Kenyatta and Ali are accused of committing or contributing to the killing, rape and other acts of violence against supporters of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement.

Ruto, Sang and Kosgey are accused of being co-perpetrators in the murder, deportation and commission of other offenses against supporters of Kenya's Party of National Unity.
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