Kenyan ex-ministers gave rewards for violence – prosecutors

AMSTERDAM, (Reuters) – Two Kenyan politicians offered  people money to attack rivals’ supporters after a disputed  election in 2007 and gave them weapons and maps of where the  targets lived, the International Criminal Court heard yesterday.

Prosecutors told the court the two politicians — William  Ruto, who plans to run for president in the next elections, and  Henry Kosgey, former industrialisation minister — referred to  their opponents’ followers as “spots” and “weeds” who must to be  expelled from Kenya’s Rift Valley.

Ruto, a former education minister, Kosgey, and Joshua Arap  Sang, a radio presenter, attended confirmation of charges  hearings which opened this week at The Hague-based court and  which will determine if they should eventually stand trial.

More than 1,220 people were killed in tribal violence after  Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, an ethnic Kikuyu, was declared the  winner of a presidential election in 2007 that was marred by  alleged vote-rigging.

In all, six high-profile Kenyan politicians and officials  are accused of crimes against humanity related to the violence,  including murder, rape and forcible transfer of people.

Prosecutors said Ruto and Kosgey, along with Sang, plotted  from 2006 until January 2008 to drive Kibaki supporters out of   towns in the Rift Valley using a network of politicians, media  representatives, financiers, tribal elders, local leaders and  former members of the security forces.

Their aim was take control of the area to secure a  large number of votes for future elections, the prosecution  said. They offered money, land and livestock as rewards to  attackers.

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