14 December 2012

Kenya: ICC 'Dossier' Not Authentic, Committee Says

Parliamentary investigations into the authenticity of documents that show the UK's interference in the ICC cases have hit a snag.

The departmental committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, which investigated the matter, tabled its report in the House yesterday with conclusion that the authenticity or otherwise of the documents could not be established.

The committee recommends that Kenya must implement a policy of equal treatment and non interference from other nations owing to kenya remarkable reputation in nurturing cordial relations with friendly states.

The committee further wants the government to pursue all diplomatic channels to conclusively address the matter with the concerned friendly nations "since the documents touch on matters of immense national importance and significant public interest".

The investigation arise from documents tabled in the House by Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo which claimed that the UK government was planning to interfere with the Kenyan cases at the ICC.

The documents alleged that ICC intends to arrest suspects believed to have masterminded the 2008 postelection violence, indict president kibaki and install Prime Minister Raila Odinga as president.

The document, famously referred to as "ICC dossier" was purportedly authored by Ms Chloe Hamborg on January , 27, 2012, who at that time was the head of the Horn of Africa Strategy at Foreign and commonwealth office.

The dossier hinted that a decision could have been reached to issue arrest warrants to deputy PM Uhuru Kenyatta, Eldoret North MP William ruto to diminish the chance of the duo being elected to the presidency.

But the report tabled in the House yesterday by the chairman of the committee Adan Keynan concludes that after "thorough investigations", interactions and extensive deliberations and taking into account the immunities granted to diplomats and MPs the committee was unable to establish the authencity of the dossier.

Admitting that the allegations raised in the dossier are serious since they touch on the sensitive offices of the state, the committee regrets key state officials and agencies of government declined to take a position on the authenticity of the documents.

The committee says investigations by the Kenya police to ascertain the authenticity of the documents required cooperation from UK government which was however declined.

"The immunity guaranteed to diplomats through the Vienna convention on Diplomatic relations (VCDR) hindered the process of investigations," the report states. The report says the British high commission in Nairobi and other international agencies declined to permit the Kenya police to undertake investigations, citing diplomatic protocols.

The report rails at the UK government warning that it should cooperated on the matter to allow conclusive investigations "given the sensitivity of the ICC and electoral process".

Even the MPs who tabled the documents declined to provide evidence, citing parliamentary immunity provided by the National assembly (Powers and privileges) Act.

The committee notes that Kenya has had a long standing cordial bilateral relations with UK government. "However, Kenya was not treated with respect commensurate with these cordial historical ties in the pursuit ofthis matter."

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