Strong opposition to Kenya’s attempts to discuss the use of recanted evidence at the Assembly of States Parties emerged in a letter dispatched to its President, Sidiki Kaba, on Saturday.
Writing jointly, the President, Chief Prosecutor and Registrar of International Criminal Court warned that the separation of powers of the Rome Statute system required the ASP to refrain from any action that interferes with the judicial independence, or creates a perception of interference.
Since the Trial Chamber decided to allow the prosecution to use recanted evidence in the case against William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang this year, Kenya has not only appealed the decision – alongside the defence – but also mobilised African Union and Uganda to file amicus briefs.
Although the Kenya and Uganda amicus briefs were not admitted, the AU’s was. Last week Kenya again mobilised African attorneys-general and ministers of justice to demand a discussion on the use of recanted evidence, provided for in Rule 68 of the Rome Statute.
The ICC bosses said in their letter, “The appropriate forum to discuss and contest judicial matters is in the judicial proceedings before the Court.”
The Assembly of States Parties opens November 17 and will run for 10 days. Besides the proposal by Kenya to discuss the implementation of Rule 68, it is expected that South Africa’s proposal to discuss cooperation in light of the ICC’s demand for an explanation on why it failed to arrest fugitive Sudanese President Omar el Bashir who is facing an arrest warrant for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.