Judges at the International Criminal Court have sunk the last hopes of Kenya’s post-election violence victims receiving court-ordered reparations.
Two of the three Trial Chamber V(a) judges who terminated the crimes against humanity case facing Deputy President William Ruto and Journalist Joshua arap Sang on April 5, 2016, ruled that they could not entertain the filing by victims lawyer Wilfred Nderitu, or a response by the Trust Fund for Victims, filed last month. Nderitu, who is the common legal representative for the victims in the Ruto-Sang case, last month sought to have the court order the Kenya government to pay reparations to all victims of the 2007/8 post-election violence.
Read: Violence victims tell ICC they want Kenya ordered to pay reparations.
Judges Robert Fremr and Olga Herrera Carbuccia said there was nothing further the court could do, while Presiding Judge Chile-Eboe-Osuji disagreed.
“The Majority understands that while this might be dissatisfactory to the victims, a criminal court can only address compensation for harm suffered as a result of such crimes if such crimes have been found to have taken place and the person standing trial for his or her participation in such crimes has been found guilty.”
The judges’ decision leaves the issue of compensation for over 1,133 deaths from Kenya’s post-election violence, 600,000 displacements and thousands of physical and psychological harm from rape, torture and persecution at the mercy of the TFV, and the Kenya government.
Nderitu’s filing had pointed out that since the Kenya government had not contested the finding that it had politically meddled in the case and placed the safety of witnesses at risk through acts of commission and omission, it should be ordered to compensate everyone who suffered harm.
He had also pointed out that all existing efforts to compensate victims in Kenya, or deliver justice for them through investigations and prosecutions were half-hearted and meaningless. The Kenya government did not respond to the filing.
Read Judge Osuji’s view:kenya-could-be-ordered-to-pay-reparations-to-victims-of-violence