Kenyan ministers named as suspects in vote violence

THE HAGUE/NAIROBI, (Reuters) – The International  Criminal Court prosecutor named three Kenyan cabinet ministers  and a former police chief yesterday among six suspects behind  the east African country’s post-election violence in 2008.

The widely awaited announcement has the potential to  destabilise Kenya’s fragile coalition, or unity government,  which was formed by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister  Raila Odinga to end the bloodshed and restore stability.

Prominent among the six suspects were finance minister and  deputy prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s founding  father Jomo Kenyatta, and William Ruto, the higher education  minister who has been suspended to fight a corruption case.

More than 1,220 people died and 350,000 were displaced in  the mayhem that followed the December 2007 election, severely  damaging Kenya’s reputation for stability in a turbulent region.
Moreno-Ocampo said he was pursuing Kenyatta, Ruto,  industrialisation minister Henry Kosgey and former police chief  Mohammed Hussein Ali, radio executive Joshua arap Sang, and  cabinet secretary Francis Muthaura.

Charges include murder, forcible transfer of population,  political persecution, torture and rape.
The suspects said yesterday they would go voluntarily to  The Hague as they were confident they could clear their names.

Kibaki said he would take no action yet against the suspects  because the ICC case was nowhere near completed.

“They therefore cannot be judged as guilty until the charges  are confirmed by the court.
Calls for action to be taken against  them are therefore prejudicial, pre-emptive and against the  rules of natural justice,” Kibaki said in a statement.

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