WE DID NOT MURDER MESHAK YEBEI! – ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

Alleged ICC Witness in the Ruto case Meshak Yebei

Statement: 09.01.2015

Statement of the Office of the Prosecutor regarding the reported abduction and murder of Mr. Meshak Yebei

Situation: Republic of Kenya

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) reiterates its condolences to the family of Mr. Meshak Yebei. Every loss of life is a unique and profound tragedy for the family that is left to mourn. The perpetrators of this heinous crime must swiftly and decisively be brought to justice. The Office of the Prosecutor reiterates its willingness to assist the competent authorities of the Republic of Kenya, as appropriate, to effectively investigate the circumstances of Mr. Yebei’s death.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

The Office of the Prosecutor wishes to address recent speculation alleging the involvement of the Office in Mr. Yebei’s tragic demise. The Office of the Prosecutor wishes to categorically state that any suggestion that the Office of the Prosecutor was involved in Mr. Yebei’s alleged abduction and murder is both outrageous and utterly false. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To avoid any doubt, the Prosecution wishes to clarify the public record regarding Mr. Yebei’s status in the context of the Prosecutor’s case against Messrs. Ruto and Sang. During the course of the Prosecution’s investigations, the Office of the Prosecutor contacted numerous individuals in Kenya, including Mr. Yebei. However, Mr. Yebei was ultimately not included on the Prosecution’s list of trial witnesses due to, amongst other reasons, information indicating that Mr. Yebei was deeply implicated in the scheme to corrupt Prosecution witnesses in the case against Mr. Ruto and Mr. Sang.

Prosecution witnesses in this case have been under siege. The Office of the Prosecutor has identified a network of individuals who have been working together to sabotage the Prosecution’s case against Messrs. Ruto and Sang, by using bribes and/or threats to either dissuade witnesses from testifying in this case or influence Prosecution witnesses to recant their testimony.

In this context, on 2 August 2013, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Walter Osapiri Barasa on charges of interfering with ICC witnesses, contrary to Article 70(1)(c) of the Rome Statute. The surrender of Mr. Barasa to the ICC remains outstanding.

The Office of the Prosecutor continues to monitor and investigate other incidents of witness interference. Investigations and prosecutions before the International Criminal Court can stand or fall on the willingness of witnesses to come forward and present their evidence in the courtroom. The Office of the Prosecutor will continue to do everything in its power to ensure that witnesses are able to present their evidence before the Court without fear.
OTPNewsDesk@icc-cpi.int

Source: Office of the Prosecutor

Murdered Kenyan witness left ICC protection for Eldoret!

Press Release: 06.01.2015

ICC deeply concerned with reported death of Mr Meshack Yebei; stands ready to assist Kenyan investigations

The International Criminal Court (ICC) expresses its deep regret at the reported abduction and violent death of Mr Meshack Yebei. Mr Yebei was allegedly abducted on 28 December 2014 and found dead on 2 January 2015.

Mr Yebei was not on the Prosecution witness list nor was he in contact with Prosecution staff at the time of his abduction.

“While local authorities are conducting further examination, the family of Mr Yebei has confirmed the identity of his body. We express our profound condolences to the family”, stated Herman von Hebel, ICC Registrar. “The Court is profoundly concerned by this grave reported incident. It stands ready to provide the local authorities with any assistance, if required, in their investigations. Ensuring the safety and security of witnesses is a cornerstone of fair trials”, he added.

While the ICC Registry had offered Mr Yebei security measures, including a safe residency in a new location, he returned to Eldoret where the incident reportedly took place. The ICC Registry is in contact with Kenyan authorities, seeking further information on the investigative steps taken at the national level.

The ICC remains strongly committed to the safety, security and well-being of all witnesses and relies on cooperation from States parties for the adequate protection of witnesses. Currently, more than 650 witnesses, victims and families’ members are provided with protective measures by the Court.

White House VS State House Nairobi *Statements*

Here’s the statement from the Obama Administration released Friday:

(Obama at State House. Courtesy thekitchencabinet.us)

State Dept statement on terrorism bill

For Immediate Release STATEMENT BY JEN PSAKI, SPOKESPERSON December 19, 2014

Kenya’s Counter-terrorism Efforts The U.S. Government is firmly committed to supporting Kenya’s efforts to defeat al-Shabaab and to ensure security of all of its citizens. We are disappointed, however, by the very limited time allowed for debate and consultation on the 2014 Security Laws (Amendment) Bill prior to its passage and enactment into law. We are also concerned about several provisions in the legislation, including those that appear to limit freedom of assembly and media, and access to asylum for refugees. As a key partner in the global effort to counter terrorism, we expect the Kenyan Government to ensure that its counterterrorism efforts live up to Kenya’s international commitments and its own constitution. Protecting Kenya’s constitution and upholding human rights, democracy, and international obligations are among the most effective ways to bolster security. The U.S. Government is also seeking further information about the December 16 announcement by the Kenyan NGO Board to deregister hundreds of NGOs for failing to file their audited reports and another 15 for suspected links to terrorism. The 15 NGOs have not been identified. A strong civil society is vital to democracy, security, and prosperity. We urge the Government of Kenya to ensure the regulation of NGOs is transparent, fair, and grounded in clear criteria that do not limit free expression, association, or assembly.
ends

And here is the retaliation from State House Nairobi:

(President Kenyatta with bikers at State House Nairobi. Courtesy 3.bp.blogspot.com)

The US state department statement on the security law President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law yesterday is a clear indication that the agency decided to go with the view of the noisemakers rather than the Security (Amendment Act) itself. First, our law is better than the American patriot and homeland security acts that give rogue powers to security agencies. In the US, fbi and intelligence officers have a carte blanche in the fight against terrorism and biological warfare. But our law has provided checks by courts of law. What is more, Kenya has no Guantanamo Bay!
Our law doesn’t curtail the freedom of assembly and the state department should read the law as passed, and not what go by what its associates want them to believe.
On refugees, our law sets a limit of 150,000 refugees. That is the decision Kenya has made and it is final. Kenya has played and will continue to play its role in providing a roof for those who run away from conflict.
The statement questions a decision by a government department that deregistered rogue NGOs and put on notice those that flout the law. NGOs aren’t above the law and they must answer to the authorities. Isn’t it peculiar that a foreign government appears sympathetic to organisations that think the law is an irritating irrelevance? But Kenya cannot look the other way when the law is as clear as day and night. The law is good for Kenya and kenyans. It will help Kenya in the same way the patriot act and the homeland security act have helped Americans.

Munyori Buku Senior Director of Public Communication at State House (NAIROBI)

President Kenyatta Signs Radical Security Bill Into Law. *Statement*

STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA DURING A TELEVISED ADDRESS TO THE NATION AFTER SIGNING INTO LAW THE SECURITY LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL 2014, 19TH DECEMBER, 2014.

uhuru

Fellow Kenyans ,
1. A few minutes ago, I signed into law the Security Laws (Amendment) Bill 2014.
Fellow Kenyans,
2. On the 22nd of November, 28 Kenyans were executed by terrorists. A week later, another 36 Kenyans were yet again massacred by terrorists. Following this, there was extensive consultation and reflection across the executive. I constituted a team to undertake a comprehensive review and I received their report within a week.
3. The review identified a number of gaps within our security laws as well as administrative challenges in our security sector. To address this, a draft bill was developed and subjected to extensive consultations through public participation, engagement with independent constitutional commissions and parliamentary processes that built consensus around the core areas of review.
During this process, all the concerns raised by the different stakeholders were addressed by the relevant Parliamentary Committees through amendments.
4. I take this opportunity to thank the National Assembly for having the presence of mind, yesterday, to pass this bill despite deplorable conduct of a few individuals who seem oblivious to the threat that is upon our country at this point in time. As a result of this unfortunate incident, many Kenyans were denied the opportunity to follow the Parliamentary proceedings.
5. I therefore urge all Kenyans to take time to read and understand this law. I am confident that you will find that there is nothing in this law that goes against the Bill of Rights or any provision of the constitution. Its intent is one; to protect the lives and property of all citizens.
Fellow Kenyans,
6. This law gives our security actors a firm institutional framework for coherent cooperation and synergy within the national counter-terrorism centre.
7. This synergy is cascaded from the highest to the lowest level through the national government security structures.
8. The law also deals with emerging crimes that reinforce terrorism, including the phenomena of foreign fighters, radicalization and transnational and cross-border crimes such as poaching and trafficking. Increasingly, these crimes are assuming a degree of sophistication that calls for a radical approach.
9. The law also improves our capacity to detect, deter and disrupt any threats to national security. For the first time, we now have a law that focuses on prevention and disruption of threats.
10. Further, the law allows for the use of technology in processing and advancing the ability for successful prosecution of suspects.
11. Cognizant of the lack of integrity and its role in accentuating vulnerability as well as compromising national security, this law sets a higher threshold for any public and state officer that is charged with the responsibility of protecting Kenya and its people.
12. In this regard, the law provides for heavy penalties for any transgression.
13. In addition to this raft of legal amendments, we have also commenced wide-scale administrative and operational reforms that align command and control, improve doctrine and modalities of work and improve operational effectiveness on the ground.
Fellow Kenyans,
14. In conclusion, I call upon all Kenyans to bring their full weight to bear in giving effect to this law.
15. While we now have this important law, it is critical to appreciate that it is only one instrument among the many measures that we need to put in place in order to guarantee our security. We must all remember that we are still at war and vulnerable to terror attacks.
16. I therefore call upon each one of us to remain vigilant and share any information that would aid in securing our country with the relevant authorities.
17. May peace dwell within our borders during this festive season.
Thank you and God bless you.

Repatriation of Somali refugees from Kenya begins after 23 YEARS!

After 23 Years, IOM, UNHCR Repatriate First Somali Refugees from Kenya

Refugees at Dadaab camp in Kenya (Pic courtesy globalpost.com) (Refugees at Dadaab camp in Kenya. Pic courtesy globalpost.com)


Here’s a statement from International Organization for Migration (IOM) on the process that comes amid rising case of terror attacks linked to Somali militant group Al Shabaab and as Kenya government has vowed not to remove her troops from neighboring Somalia until peace and order are restored and Shabaab crushed:

Nairobi, 9 December, 2014. IOM, in collaboration with UNHCR, yesterday (8/12) began the voluntary repatriation of 94 Somali refugees from Kenya, 23 years after conflict and famine drove them from their homeland.

The refugees, from the sprawling Dadaab refugee complex that hosts over 350,000 Somali refugees, travelled in two IOM buses with their possessions to the Dhobley way station in Afmadow District, Lower Juba, on the Somali-Kenya border.

The repatriation process is the outcome of the tri-partite agreement signed between Kenya, Somalia and UNHCR in November 2013, agreeing a dignified and humane repatriation process for Somali refugees in Kenya on a voluntary basis.

IOM will provide food, accommodation and water at the way station and also advise the returnees on routes to their final destinations. The refugees will receive repatriation packages including food rations for three months, non-food items and a livelihood start-up grant from UNHCR and its partners.

Although Somalia is still affected by conflict, a few pockets are safe to receive returnees, especially those liberated by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

“I am glad to see men, women and children go back voluntarily in dignified manner to rebuild their country,” said IOM Somalia Chief of Mission, Ali Abdi. “IOM will continue to help vulnerable communities willing to return to Somalia by providing them with services such as health care, water and sanitation during the repatriation exercise.”

The repatriation process is supported by the Federal Government of Somalia and the Interim Jubaland Authority.

For more information, please contact Omar Khayre at IOM Somalia, Tel: +254 708 985812, Email: okhayre@iom.int

Joseph Kabiru

Public Information Officer

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Nairobi, Kenya

Raila Odinga message to Kenyatta after ICC charges drop

Raila Odinga

WITHDRAWAL OF CHARGES AGAINST PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA:

After a long drawn legal contest, the International Criminal Court today withdrew charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta in regard to the post-election violence of 2007-2008.
On my own behalf and on behalf of my family, I wish to congratulate the President on this personal triumph that is also of great significance to our country.
It is my hope that with this burden taken away, my brother, President Uhuru Kenyatta will now focus all his energies and attention on serving the people of Kenya to the best of his ability.
I wish him well in this noble task.
Rt. Hon RAILA ODINGA, EGH.
DECEMBER 5, 2014.