Azimio petitions ICC to probe IG Koome over police excesses during protests
Opposition leader Raila Odinga's Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party has written to the International Criminal Court (ICC) calling for the pre-trial chamber to authorise investigations into Kenya's political situation.
In a letter addressed to the Hague-based court in Netherlands on Friday, Azimio legal representative in the case Paul Mwangi wants the ICC Prosecutor to open a file against Police Inspector General Japhet Koome over what the coalition describes as “his express orders to police” to kill and maim opposition protestors.
In the letter, Mwangi says: “Japhet Koome has abrogated the constitutional rights of members of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party and contravened the Constitution of Kenya by usurping powers of the Judiciary and pronouncing a ban against any exercise of the rights under Article 37 by members the coalition party.”
Azimio claims that on April 3, 2023 at 1630 hours, at around the Pipeline area of Embakasi South constituency in Nairobi city, a contingent of police officers approached the motor vehicle in which coalition party leader Odinga was being ferried in and fired approximately ten rounds of live ammunition with a clear intention to kill him.
“During the period in question, the special squad set up by the suspect, Japhet Koome and other police officers under the general command of the suspect have killed and maimed innocent Kenyans while they were exercising their rights under Article 37,” read the letter.
The opposition camp further listed nine people that it claims were killed by police officers during the protests in various parts of the country, as well as at least 20 other people that it claims were injured by the men and women in blue.
Lawyer Mwangi concludes the letter to the ICC by saying: “For these reasons Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party hereby requests that the Prosecutor submits this information to the pre-trial chamber for authorization for an investigation.”
Azimio says that it took the decision to write to the ICC since Kenya is a party to the Rome Statute having signed it on August 11, 1999 and ratified it on March 15, 2005.
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