Kenya Rejects Four Nominees Poised for ICC Prosecutor Role

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    President Uhuru Kenyatta at the ICC in Hague, the Netherlands in 2014
  • Kenya has rejected four candidates selected to take over the role of Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), based in The Hague, Netherlands.

    Kenya's Ambassador to the Netherlands, Lawrence Lenayapa wrote to the court in a letter dated July 13, 2020, arguing that the selection process was biased and was doctored to favour a certain applicant. 

    The candidates were shortlisted by a special committee to take over from outgoing ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda who succeeded Luis Ocampo. 

    "The Republic of Kenya anticipated that the Committee would present a shortlist of qualified candidates with an equal chance of being elected as the next Prosecutor. The current shortlist does not meet this expectation and appears skewed in favour of a particular candidate," Lenayapa stated. 

    File image of former ICC prosecutor Luis Ocampo with his successor Fatou Bensouda

    The candidates selected were Nigerian Morris Anyah, Fergal Gaynor from Ireland, Ugandan Susan Okalany and Richard Roy from Canada.

    Anyah and Okalany represented the victims of 2007 post-election violence in Kenya, while Gaynor also represented the victims when charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta were dropped

    Ambassador Lenayapa argued that the nominees were not qualified and may not enable the realisation of the desired consensus.

    He stated that  the candidates managerial experience in large international institutions was wanting and that they did not have demonstrable diplomatic experience.

    “The Republic of Kenya, therefore, rejects the shortlist contained in the Report of the Committee on the Election of the Prosecutor and calls for a reconsideration of all the applicants for the position and in the alternative encourage States Parties to commence nomination of candidates that can be presented for election during the upcoming Assembly of States Parties,” an excerpt of the letter states. 

    Lenayapa further called upon the member states to work together to elect a candidate who will strengthen and build confidence in the Office of the Prosecutor. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (in red tie) with his Deputy William Ruto during the 2013 elections campaigns
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (in red tie) with his Deputy William Ruto during the 2013 elections campaigns