Kenya: Matsanga Seeks IOM's Intervention to Halt Hiring of New ICC Prosecutor

Nairobi — The Chairman of the Pan African Forum, Dr. David Matsanga, is now seeking the intervention of the Independent Oversight Mechanism (IoM), at The International Criminal Court to launch an independent inquiry on the hiring of a new Chief Prosecutor.

Matsanga wants the IoM to intervene and restore confidence in the process which, he said, is compromised or likely to be, if measures are not taken.

The court has kicked off the hiring process for a new prosecutor to replace Fatou Bensouda whose term in office ends on June 21, 2021. She took over from Moreno Ocampo, who initiated an investigation on the killing of more than 1,100 people during Kenya's post-election violence in 2007.

In his application, Matsanga said he decided to seek IoM's intervention after the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) failed to act on complaints about the hiring process.

"My complaints fall under Article 112 of the Rome Statute. I want to remind the IOM that the ASP created the IOM for the purposes of reporting Potential breaches of the ICC regulations under Article 112 of the Rome Statute," Matsanga says, urging the IoM to launch an independent inquiry into the process, and even cancel it altogether.

He is particularly concerned, and alleges, that public participation is compromised since not all the players will be able to attend due to travel restrictions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It is with such great concerns regarding the selection of a New Chief Prosecutor that I invoke this Article 112 to bring to IOM this matter for determination," he said in the application seen by Capital FM News.

The Assembly of State Parties has called for public discussions and engagement with four applicants for the post of Chief Prosecutor, from July 27 to 30.

But with the travel restrictions still in place globally, there are calls for its postponement to a later date.

"As you are aware, with COVID-19, most of us who have serious incriminating evidence against some of the applicants will not be able to attend such a crucial meeting," Matsanga said in a letter addressed to the President of the ASP O-Gon Kwon last week, before his application to IoM.

Matsanga, who is the Chairman of the Pan African Forum, also wants the ASP to cancel the entire list of candidates to the post, saying some of the NGOs set to take part are in Europe and affiliated to the George Soros Open Foundation.

With no forthcoming action or response, he resorted to seek IoM's intervention, in a letter also addressed to the ASP President, the ICC President, all the candidates, the United Nations, the African Union and all the State Parties.

Matsanga says failure to investigate the allegations raised, is likely to compromise the work of the ICC and its reputation.

"The IOM can institute its own investigations based on the nature of complaint before them and see what can be done to resolve the corrupted process of (CEP) and the abuse of ASP regulations on the Public Participation that was conducted under the cover of COVID -19," Matsanga said.

He says the selection process is not gender-sensitive, with allegations that it skewed to favour one candidate.

"I want to state from the outset that I have serious concerns that the entire selection was corrupted to allow one candidate by name Fergal Gaynor to win the race," he states, "The Gender rule that the global world finds itself was not followed."

He claims that the selection process that led to the shortlist of four candidates was compromised.

The candidates include Morris A. Anyah (Nigeria); (2) Fergal Gaynor(Ireland); (3) Susan Okalany(Uganda); and (4) Richard Roy, Canada. What basis did they whittle the names.

"I want IOM to inquire in the public interest how they whittled down to those names," he said, questioning the selection process of the Committee.

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