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ICC judges reject human rights report on poll chaos

bensu-The International Criminal Court Wednesday declined to admit as evidence a controversial report by a human rights body detailing its account of the post-election violence in Kenya.

The Trial Chamber said the report by the Kenya Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) titled “On the brink of precipice; a human rights account of the Kenya’s post 2007 election violence,” should not be accepted for several reasons.

The court said that it does not reveal the identity of the people interviewed and a significant number of the findings emanate from other sources such as newspapers.

“The chamber noted that although the prosecution stated that no witness was competent to testify on the authenticity of the entire document, it would appear that one may be able to somewhat better contextualise the report,” the judges said in their 44-page ruling.

“Consequently, the Chamber finds that the report should not be proffered into evidence…accordingly the Chamber does not admit it,” they said.

According to ICC Prosecutor Ms Fatou Bensouda, who was pushing for the report alongside 46 others to be admitted as evidence without introducing them through a witness as is the norm, the KNCHR report identified the alleged members of the network that played a key role in the violence.

However, Deputy President Mr Ruto’s defence objected to the inclusion, questioning the manner in which the investigations were conducted. The defence lawyers said it was flawed and was a conspiracy to fabricate evidence.

Another rejected document was a Human Rights Watch report titled “Ballots to bullets organised political violence and Kenya’s crisis of governance,” that detailed the involvement of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leaders in the violence, attacks in areas such as Turbo and Kiambaa, the role of Kass FM in the violence and individual criminal responsibility of Mr Ruto.

Also turned down was a document titled – Kenya in crisis – which reported on the election campaign leading up to the 2007 election and the violence after the announcement of the results.

However, Trial Chamber judges admitted several crucial documents to be used as evidence.

According to the ruling, some of the documents admitted included a security briefs produced by the sub regional intelligence coordinators from Uasin Gishu County.

-Nation

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