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Raila Odinga says he is ready to testify for ODM in Ruto case

Mr Odinga says he is ready to witness in the Ruto case if requested.

Mr Odinga says he is ready to witness in the Ruto case if requested.

Cord leader Raila Odinga is willing to testify at the International Criminal Court as Deputy President William Ruto’s witness if requested.

The former Prime Minister said he was aware of what happened during the chaos that followed the 2007 General Elections and he could testify on behalf of the Orange Democratic Movement party.

A week ago leaders of the United Republican Party, led by Elgeyo-Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen, challenged Mr Odinga to testify in the court to increase chances of Mr Ruto being acquitted from the charges he faces at The Hague.

However, Mr Odinga said the deputy President who was an ODM leader when the chaos broke out, has not made any formal request to him.

“I am willing to testify at the ICC on behalf of my party, ODM. But as far as I know, no one has made such a request to me,” he told journalists after a meeting with the Luo Council of elders at a Kisumu hotel.

Mr Ruto was taken to The Hague on the ODM side while President Uhuru Kenyatta, whose charges have since been dropped, was from the PNU side of then President Mwai Kibaki.

Former ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo settled on the two Jubilee leaders during his investigations after the government failed to establish a local tribunal to try the PEV related suspects.

“At no particular time did ODM plan any violence. Neither did we plan to do any harm to any section of Kenyans,” Mr Odinga added.

Mr Ruto and the ODM leader have since parted ways and become strong political rivals.

Speaking on January 24 at a funeral in Elgeyo Marakwet, Mr Murkomen said: “I am asking the former Prime Minister that please, Mzee, join us in this quest to ensure William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Sang are freed.”

He added: “Why should the Deputy President be hanging around The Hague when all of us here are requiring his services? We have decided that we will use whatever arsenal available to ensure the DP is a free man.”

PULL OUT OF THE ICC

Mr Odinga also condemned a decision by African heads of state to pull out of the international court and form one locally, during their meeting last week in Addis Ababa.

“The ICC is an important international institution to deal with impunity and decisions regarding it need a wider approach than just a bunch of heads of states sitting in Addis Ababa,” Mr Odinga said.

He said the leadership cannot make decisions without involving Kenyans.

“This is a grievous matter and we will take time as a party to scrutinize it,” he said.

He took a swipe at Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for applying doublespeak on the ICC matter, saying despite having been against the court, he wants his political opponent Mr Ongwen to face the court.

If Mr Museveni is against the court, then he should let the Lord’s Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen be brought back and tried under Ugandan law.

“The issue of selective justice will not help us,” said Mr Odinga.

He said that there massive cases of corruption synonymous with African leaders that require international court.

“Some people still believe that ICC targets Africans, but it’s that there are more violations in Africa than other parts of the world hence more of these cases end up in the international court,” he said.

“Countries like South America, Asia and Europe are not left out. So people should avoid saying that ICC is being used by Europeans against African countries.”

Cord principal also said the blame was not on him since the coalition government had tried to champion for a local tribunal to no avail.

“Former president Mwai Kibaki and I tried as much as we could to deal with the issue and tried to push the members of parliament to pass laws that would enable the country set up a local tribunal but it backfired,” he said.

Mr Odinga was chairing a meeting aimed at uniting the divided community with a group of Luo elder.

Speaking at hillside hotel in Kisumu Mr Raila said it was time the Luo people focused on unity in order to bring developments rather than giving much attention into wrangles.

“This meeting was mainly called to create unity due to the wrangles being talked about “he said.

The meeting which ended with agreements from the elders that there will be no more wrangles and this was going to be achieved through the formation of a committee that will be in charge

-Nation.co.ke

 

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