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.