13 June 2009

Scoffing at Annan?

Mutula scoffs at Annan’s tribunal deadline talk

By Martin Mutua

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo says the Government will not work by the ultimatum issued by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to set up a special tribunal to try post-election violence suspects.

At the same time, Mutula denied writing to Annan requesting for an extension of the deadline. "I still believe Kenya is a sovereign State and I know the principals, President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, have accepted to establish the special tribunal but we cannot accept ultimatums," he added.

Mutula, who was reacting to reports quoting Annan in a BBC interview that set a deadline of August for the establishment of the court, said the former UN chief had already organised a meeting for the Serena Team on June 30.

Special tribunal

The minister said he was supposed to have met Annan in Geneva a fortnight ago but was informed he was in Japan. Mutula said he will be leading a Kenyan delegation to The Hague to meet the judges and the prosecutor to familiarise themselves with the system next week, adding that he hoped to meet Annan and inform him on the best way to return the Bill to the House. "The fact that Sh2 billion has been factored in the Budget should send signals that we are serious about implementing Agenda Four," he added.

He said what was rejected in Parliament was the entrenchment of the tribunal in the Constitution, but not the tribunal itself.

East African Standard