The Open Society Justice Initiative has launched the International Criminal Court (ICC) Kenya Monitor, www.ICCKenya.org, a website focused on the proceedings arising from the post-election violence that erupted in Kenya in December 2007. Over 1,000 people were reported killed and approximately 350,000 displaced in the subsequent turmoil.
The ICC Kenya Monitor will serve journalists, academics, and others who want to follow the two cases already announced by the ICC against six Kenyan public figures. In addition to courtroom updates, commentary, and media summaries, it will provide space for comment and debate. The six are making their first appearance before the court in The Hague this week in the two cases.
The proceedings mark an important test for the ICC, as it is the first time that the court prosecutor has initiated cases on his own initiative. Previous cases have emerged following investigations requested by either the Security Council or a concerned government.
The Kenya cases are going ahead despite objections from the coalition government that emerged in Kenya after the elections. The ICC says it has acted because Kenya has been unable or unwilling to investigate and prosecute those who incited the violence. Kenya has asked for more time to do so.
The prosecutor is pursuing two separate cases. Case One concerns William Samoei Ruto, Henry Kiprono Kosgey, and Joshua Arap Sang, who are charged with the crimes against humanity of murder, forced transfer, and persecution.
Case Two concerns Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, and Mohammed Hussein Ali, who are charged with the crimes against humanity of murder, rape, forced transfer, persecution, and other inhumane acts.
This website is the most recent addition to the Open Society Justice Initiative’s ICC trial monitoring project. The Justice Initiative also monitors the trials of Jean Pierre-Bemba, which concerns alleged crimes in the Central African Republic, and of Thomas Lubanga and Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, which relate to conflict in eastern Congo. In addition, it monitors the Charles Taylor trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.