Ocampo blamed for Kenyan cases collapse at the ICC

Thursday, November 28th, 2019 00:00 |
Louis Moreno Ocampo.

A review by experts on the Kenyan cases previously before the International Criminal Court (ICC) has revealed that prosecutorial processes were dealt a blow by deadlines set by the predecessor, Louis Moreno Ocampo, which subsequently led to their collapse.

The report blames Ocampo for the collapse, indicating the deadlines prevented completion of legal analysis at preliminary examination stage and resulted in premature application for approval to open an investigation into the Kenya situation, charging decisions, applications for summonses to appear, and confirmation of charges hearings.

Assessment approach

It states that effectiveness of investigations and prosecutions was significantly undermined by Ocampo’s “decision over assessment” approach to the cases and his target-based approach to investigation and charging rather than an evidence-based approach.

ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda made the outcome of the expert review and lessons drawn from the Kenyan situation, public on Tuesday, where she indicated that some 30 current and former staff members, representing all three divisions of the office were interviewed.

“I am encouraged by the fact that the office had already addressed most of the recommended changes in response to our experience of the Kenya situation even prior to the receipt of the independent external expert report,” Bensouda said.

The experts said after hearings, investigating in Kenya became much more difficult since support for the ICC among Kenyans had been eroded by a concerted campaign of negative propaganda.

Poke holes

In a rejoinder, however, Ocampo poked holes into the report saying it does not suggest how witness interference that affected trial phase could have been controlled. 

“The report rightly explains the court was able to initiate an investigation and confirm charges in the Kenya’s cases but at trial, the Prosecution lost many of its witnesses, who either recanted or refused to appear,” Ocampo said.

More on National