Africa: Statement By the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court

asLadies and Gentlemen of the Media

Thank you for being here for this early afternoon briefing. I wanted to start the programme of this my first official visit to Kenya as ICC Prosecutor by meeting with you and introducing myself. Let me also briefly outline for you why I am here and what I intend to do. Then I will be pleased to answer a few questions from the floor.

As you may be aware, I was nominated and supported by the African Union as the sole African candidate for the position of ICC Prosecutor, to which I was unanimously elected by the 121 States Parties on 12 December 2011. I am deeply indebted to the AU and African leaders including President Kibaki, for their confidence in me. Their support is yet another example of Africa’s commitment to international justice and their desire to end impunity. For the next nine years, I have the privilege, honour and the responsibility to serve as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Having been nominated and supported for this position by the AU, I consider myself to be a mere extension of the African fabric for ending impunity. In carrying out the mandate given to me by the 121 States Parties, I am guided by the law and the cardinal principles of independence, impartiality and fairness.

My mandate is to investigate and prosecute those most responsible for the world’s gravest crimes, where no-one else is doing justice for the victims. Our purpose, my purpose, is to seek the truth. By doing so, by bringing justice, we can provide some solace to survivors, restore dignity to shattered lives and the memory of those who were killed. We do this with utter respect. Respect for the primary responsibility of national judicial systems to carry out genuine national proceedings against those alleged to have committed crimes, respect for the rights of the accused and above all, respect for victims, all as mandated in the Rome Statute.

Kenyan victims, the women, men and children who suffered during the dark days of 2007-2008 are my priority, my daily motivation. They always have been and they always will be.

I arrived in Kenya yesterday and plan to be here for the coming week. While here, I plan to meet with key government figures, notably President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga.

You will recall that on 3 July 2009 my predecessor met with a high level delegation of Kenyan government officials in The Hague. Agreement was reached with the representatives of the Kenyan government that should the Kenyan authorities carry out genuine judicial proceedings against those most responsible for PEV, the Office of the Prosecutor would have no ground to intervene. My predecessor and the Kenyan delegation agreed that impunity was not an option.

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