By Collins Wanzala in Nairobi
Before the dust settles on the verdict handed over by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to Democratic Republic of Congo’s warlord Thomas Lubanga on Wednesday this week, mixed reactions have begun streaming in. The focus has now been levelled on the Court’s Chief Prosecutor; Louis Moreno-Ocampo who remains in three months vacates the office he has held for the last nine years. Mr Moreno-Ocampo leaves office after succeeding in successfully prosecuting only one case but has more cases from Africa which he is handling with one closer home being that of the four Kenyans who have been indicted with crimes against humanity committed during the chaotic 2007/08 post-election violence.
A renowned international conflict resolution expert cum Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Africa World Media Limited, Dr David Nyekorach -Matsanga on Thursday issued a signed statement from London blaming Moreno- Ocampo for doing a shoddy job in the way he handled Lubanga`s case.
In a statement he issued soon after Lubanga Dyilo was convicted by the ICC for recruiting children in his rebel army, Dr Matsanga said that as in the Kenyan case, Mr Moreno-Ocampo relied more on information from intermediaries whom some of whom had been coached and trained to give false evidence against Lubanga. He says that it seems that in all the African cases at the ICC, Moreno-Ocampo is using intermediaries and non-governmental organizations to carry out his investigations that are coerced to give evidence tilting on a particular director which befits Moreno-Ocampo after receiving bribes.
Matsanga has from inception of the court been against it and has on numerous occasions been against the Kenyan case being referred to the ICC. Kenya has its Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Eldoret North MP William Ruto, former head of the Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Ambassador Francis Muthaura and Radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang having their cases at The Hague and their appeal against the cases were turned down by the court recently meaning their trial will go on fully.
The conflict resolution expert who negotiated for peace in Northern Uganda after another ICC culprit who is sought by the court for his war crimes, Joseph Kony waged a war of several years against the Government of President Yoweri Museveni, reckons that the Thomas Lubanga verdict opens an appeal before the five Judges who will put Moreno-Ocampo under the microscope of Justice about his flawed investigations.
He goes on to say: “My main criticism about Luis Moreno-Ocampo is focused on the bungled, corrupt, inept, corroded, infected methods of investigations that Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo uses in all his cases in Africa. The Lubanga case proves my position against the Chief Prosecutor.”
Dr Matsanga claims in his statement that the Kenyan case has the ICC chief prosecutor deriving his witnesses from intermediaries, coached, bribed, manipulated, fake, and unreliable and could cause the same scenario as that of the Lubanga case. In his statement, Dr Matsanga adds that he has told the world and the ICC through the documents he has circulated widely that Moreno-Ocampo used:
1. Fake witnesses in Kenyan case and on that of Lubanga.
2. Intermediaries in his investigations like the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, Non-Governmental Organisations, Waki reports for Kenyan case.
3. Unreliable witnesses like Mungiki for Kenyan case.
4. The coaching of witnesses by Non-Governmental Organisation both for the Kenyan and Lubanga case.
5. The bribing of witnesses by the Non-Governmental Organisations in Kenya and for the Lubanga case.
6. Questions quality of evidence in Thomas Lubanga case and the case facing four Kenyans.
Lubanga`s conviction on Wednesday became historic since the formation of the court 10 years ago as the court has never sentenced anybody. Lubanga, 52, was accused of conscripting child soldiers to his militia group (Union of Congolese Patriots). He was arrested on March 17, 2006. He is due to be sentenced later this year and could get a maximum sentence of life in prison.