FORMER ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has claimed that the cases he launched in Kenya have helped to prevent further violence. The March 4 election featured "the same players, but playing a different game," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from New York. He said Kenya's adoption of key police and judicial reforms recommended by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was a key ingredient in the peaceful elections on March 4.
Ocampo revealed he once unsuccessfully petitioned judges at the ICC to issue arrest warrants for people suspected of intimidating the families of witnesses in the Kenyan cases. "When we requested the judges to act, to arrest some individuals, they refused," he said. He refused to give more detail of the confidential request or identify those he wanted arrested.
"To prove the threats to the families of our witnesses in Kenya, the judges requested a high level of evidence that we cannot fulfil because our witnesses were in Kenya," he said. "We could not disclose the names (of the witnesses) because they were in Kenya and then there would be problems for them."
Moreno-Ocampo deflected criticism by defence lawyers that prosecutors knew about suspect testimony from some witnesses, but did not tell the defence before a key pretrial assessment of evidence in 2011. "That is why the trial is so important," he said. "The trial is the moment of truth."
The next status hearing at the ICC for the case against Uhuru Kenyatta and Francis Muthaura is on Monday. ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said she is dropping the case against Muthaura but wants to proceed against Uhuru.