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Cabinet Team Agrees on Secret Notes to Surrender to International Criminal Court in Kenya

Published on Wednesday 13th October 2010 Cabinet Team Agrees on Secret Notes to Surrender to  International Criminal Court in Kenya

A Cabinet team on Tuesday approved a set of minutes of security meetings to be handed over to the International Criminal Court to speed up the trials of the masterminds of Kenya's worst post-election violence.

The minutes will cover sensitive security meetings held before and during the 2007 post-election violence that led to the killing of 1,133 people.

The decision was reached at Tuesday's meeting of a Cabinet committee handling matters related to the ICC.

The meeting, chaired by Internal Security minister George Saitoti, also discussed a set of regulations prepared by a technical team to guide ICC detectives in recording witness statements from top government officials who were in charge of security in various 2007 post-election violence hot spots.

The Cabinet team met as two more officials of the ICC arrived in the country for what was termed an "analysis mission".

They were said to have divided themselves into three groups in an attempt to cover as much ground as possible before the arrival of prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo next week.

The analysts are set to visit various post-election violence hotspots, among them Kisumu, Naivasha, Molo, Eldoret, Nakuru and Nairobi slums.

They are preparing the ground for Mr Moreno-Ocampo. "He may be coming in between Monday and Wednesday next week. However, this will be determined by the progress made by the investigators who came in last week and the officials who have come in," said a source.

At the Cabinet sub-committee, sources present who requested anonymity said the minutes of the security meetings to be handed over to ICC detectives cover the period just before the December 2007 General Election to the post-election violence period which lasted until President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga signed a peace accord on February 28, 2008.

"We have looked at the minutes and agreed in principle to give them to the ICC but we will first share them with the bigger Cabinet security committee," said the sources.

"The minutes cover the period which ICC had requested. We all agreed with the minutes as provided to us by the AG and the DG," the source added, referring to Attorney General Amos Wako and the National Security Intelligence Service director General Michael Gichangi.

The meeting carefully went through all the minutes of the security meetings held during the period to ensure they were relevant to the ICC investigations and that they did not compromise the country's security.

"As you know this is a very delicate matter, whereas we have a duty to cooperate with the ICC, we are also a sovereign country," the source explained, suggesting that minutes that could infringe on national security may have been withheld.

The ICC detectives believe the minutes of the security meetings preceding the disputed presidential election results and during the post- election violence would help establish whether "shoot-to-kill" orders were issued to security officers in various hot spots.

The sub-committee, which comprises Prof Saitoti, Cabinet ministers Mutula Kilonzo (Justice), James Orengo (Lands), Otieno Kajwang' (Immigration), Amason Kingi (Fisheries) and Mr Wako also went through the set of regulations which will guide ICC detectives in recording statements from at least five provincial commissioners, six provincial police bosses and district commissioners who served in the hot spots.

The committee, however, deferred the final decision on the regulations until its meeting Wednesday morning.

Lawyers representing the government officials expected to record the statements Tuesday met with Public Prosecutor Keriako Tobiko.

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