Thursday, April 21, 2011



By Jerry Okungu

Nairobi, Kenya

April 20, 2011

I have nothing personal against Dr. Kizza Besigye but I’m concerned about his brand of politics. There are certain acts you cannot engage in if you want to someday rule your country. There is a level of activism best left to followers to carry out on your behalf. You cannot afford to expose your underbelly to all and sundry. You must strive to be the enigma of Ugandan politics.

Modern politics is very much like modern war in more ways than one. In war, the General remains at the command post and directs operations from there. We are not in medieval times when the general led his troops from the front. The era of smart bombs, guided missiles and unmanned bombers are with us. The real war is in the command post where computers identify targets and locations in any part of the globe. That is what makes the Americans bomb the Talibans and Al Qaida in their caves without stepping there.

The Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran waged a protracted war against Reza Pahlavi the King of Iran for decades. All this time, he never set foot on the streets of Tehran to lead a protest. At his age, he was satisfied with being the spiritual leader of the movement. He became a legendary figure to the young and the old. His name alone was an inspiration to the foot soldiers of the Iranian revolution.

Most revolutionary leaders of our time have a common streak running through them. Nelson Mandela’s incarceration for 27 years on Robben Island made him a mystique. Children born after he was jailed grew up into adults and died in his name in South Africa’s protracted liberation war.

Fidel Castro’s ragtag army that overthrew the Cuban retrogressive regime in 1959 was helped by his invisibility and invincibility. Fidel didn’t have to go to the streets of Havana to prove his gallantry. The same tactic was employed by Mao Zedong the founding father of modern China.

Back here in East Africa, the mystery around Jomo Kenyatta during the struggle helped build his stature to unprecedented levels such that by the time he was being released from prison, the whole nation was ready to receive him as their undisputed leader. The same applied to Nelson Mandela when he walked from Robben Island in 1990. Even his apartheid tormentors were ready to accept him as their leader.

Having been Museveni’s comrade in the bush war of the 1980s, one gets surprised that Dr. Besigye can make a fool of himself under the guise of fighting to bring about a revolution in Uganda. Uganda is certainly not Tunisia, Egypt or any of those countries where mass protests can bring about change.

If you want a regime change in Uganda, you must be ready to do what Apollo Milton Obote did in 1971 when Idi Amin toppled him. You must be ready to do what Museveni did in 1980 when he realized that UPC had rigged the elections beyond recognition. He went to the bush to wage a war from there. He never carried banana leaves and asked ordinary Ugandans to come to the streets to demonstrate against the Obote regime because he knew that such demonstrations would take him nowhere.

Dr. Besigye’s continued street arrests with the attendant humiliation by soldiers young enough to be his children are fast eroding his clout as a respected future president of Uganda.

What he is doing is to reduce himself to the level of his followers as young police men begin to perceive him as an obstinate common street protester. For him to engage in exchange of words with junior police officers, resist orders and then allow them to howl him into a police land rover was the height of humiliation. This kind of humiliation was proof enough that Dr. Besigye is yet to command a critical mass that can shield him from police brutality or arbitrary humiliation.

It also shows that these Besigye Street protests, genuine as they were, were not well thought out and planned. If he had followed the Egyptian or Tunisian scripts, he would have used face book, twitter and mobile phones to mobilize the masses assuming that the authorities had not put a caveat on such media.

As it is, such behavior, even if it has resulted in his arrest together with a handful of his supporters, has not elevated his standing in society. In fact the Besigye that was being manhandled and humiliated by the police looked so different from Besigye the presidential candidate of last February. The candidate was more dignified than the one that showed us an arm in a sling being thrown in to an open land rover.

Dr. Besigye, get off the streets of Kampala; Uganda still needs you for president when M7 retires in 2016!



By Jerry Okungu

Nairobi, Kenya

April 20, 2011

I hate to state this but Kenya’s judicial system is so flawed that just passing a new constitution or appointing a new chief justice or a new prosecutor cannot fix the mess overnight. We have lived with a rotten judicial system for three decades and the damage done to this public service department will take almost as many years if not more to fix.

Let us not kid ourselves that in the next five months we will be able to have in place a credible court and police system to deal with cases such as the ones we have referred to The Hague.

A little recap of our recent history will illustrate my point.

In 1975, one of Kenya’s most colourful politicians was murdered in cold blood under Jomo Kenyatta’s regime. Despite Parliament setting up a Commission of Inquiry known as the Mwangale Commission; despite the Commission presenting its findings to none other than Jomo Kenyatta, no arrests or prosecutions were undertaken to date. The report got buried either in the President’s office or in the State Law Office. For the last 36 years, the Kariuki family has been crying for justice and pleading with every regime that has followed Jomo’s reign with very little success.

In 1990, Dr. John Robert Ouko was murdered under similar circumstances under the Daniel Moi regime. Like in the JM Kariuki’s case, a judicial commission was set up under retired Chief Justice Evans Gicheru. However, when the commission was about to start summoning crucial witnesses, it was disbanded on orders of the President to be replaced with Scotland Yard personnel. Again when the Scotland Yard investigators were about to break through the murder case, their contract was suddenly terminated.

In the Ouko case, at least one District Commissioner was arraigned in court and charged with the murder however, there were no credible witnesses to testify against him. They had either died or disappeared without trace. Twenty-one years later, hardly any witness is alive despite the fact that the case file is still open and active.

Does anybody out there recall the murder mystery of Julie Ward of the UK in our game park? That too remains unresolved. No suspects were ever prosecuted successfully. The few that were arraigned in court through the efforts of her father had no credible prosecution witnesses.

Just like in the JM Kariuki‘s case, Ouko’s murder involved highly ranked and influential individuals in Daniel arap Moi’s government. The behavior of presidents, the State Law Office, the police and the judiciary in these murders most foul were pointer to the fact that they were victims of the powers of the day.

The latest case involving William Ruto in a land scandal is a pointer that we are still far away from having a judicial system that can dispense equal justice to the victims and villains equally. William Ruto’s case which was filed in 2003 lasted a good eight years before the courts could hear it. And when it did, circumstances had drastically changed. Ruto was then a sitting cabinet minister and in that capacity had given a job under his docket to his chief prosecution witness.

So by the time the case came up; thanks to the “efficiency” of the State Law Office, five star prosecution witnesses were already dead, fifteen others had disappeared without trace. As for William Ruto’s chief prosecution witness, she just ignored the court summons.

William Ruto’s acquittal makes interesting reading considering that he is one of the Ocampo Six suspects whose case the Attorney General is fighting tooth and nail to have referred back to Kenya because according to the Attorney General, we now have a functioning judicial system.

Another case of interest that the Attorney General generously terminated was that of another MP for Cherangany, Hon Kutuny. Kutuny together with another MP for Kuria, Dr. Machage were charged with crimes related to hate speech during the referendum campaigns. Since filing the cases and arraigning the same suspects in court, the AG went silent only to reemerge eight months later with a nolle prosequi in the case against Hon. Kutuny. This acquittal came hot on the heels of William Ruto’s acquittal. It was easy to see a connection between the two cases. The two high profile MPs are political bed fellows. Now it is only a matter of time before Dr. Machage and Mrs. Miller, another hate speech suspect is acquitted.

At a moment in our history when our judiciary is still dysfunctional, when the Police Commissioner and the State Law Office can still trade accusations and engage in blame game publicly whenever government loses a crucial case; it would be foolhardy for us to believe that we are out of the woods.

As it is, the Judicial Service Commission is yet to vet judges and magistrates, recruit the Chief Justice, its deputy, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and High Court judges; it is premature to go fretting around that we are now ready to deal with cases involving crimes against humanity. It is even foolhardy and the height of hypocrisy to tell the world that we are ready to try the belligerent Ocampo Six suspects when three years later, we have not investigated, tried and jailed a single rapist, murderer or arsonist of the post election violence perpetrators. We should be humble enough to let Ocampo proceed with his suspects.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011



Victims of the Wagalla massacre record their statements during the second day of  TJRC public hearings in Wajir, April 19, 2011. Prominent personalities expected to testify in connection to the massacre failed to turn up for hearings Wednesday. STEPHEN MUDIARI

Victims of the Wagalla massacre record their statements during the second day of TJRC public hearings in Wajir, April 19, 2011. Prominent personalities expected to testify in connection to the massacre failed to turn up for hearings Wednesday. STEPHEN MUDIARI


Posted Wednesday, April 20 2011 at 13:34

Prominent personalities expected to testify in connection to mass killings and other human rights violations in Wajir failed to turn up for hearings Wednesday.

Bethwel Kiplagat and former provincial commissioners Joseph Kaguthi and Benson Karia were all no-shows in the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) hearings in Wajir that ended Wednesday.

Also listed as one of those invited to the hearings was former Cabinet minister David Mwiraria.

Expectations had been high among the residents that the persons would appear at the hearings after their names were adversely mentioned in connection to various human rights violations in the area, chief among them the Wagalla massacre.

But acting TJRC chairperson Tecla Namachanja played down the no-shows, saying they still stood a chance of being heard.

“We notified them in good time and expected they would appear,” she said in an interview with the Nation.

She said one of the top witnesses was ready to travel to the region but failed to get a flight.

“We will give them a chance to be heard in Nairobi,” she said.

Ignore accused

Mrs Namachanja said it would be wrong for the Commission to hear only one side, that of the accusers, and ignore those accused from being heard.

Some of those adversely mentioned are accused of attending a security meeting in Wajir days before the Wagalla massacre in which forces are said to have killed 57 people in a security operation, according to government records.

But residents claim the operation killed 3,000 people. The TJRC has a daunting task confirming the right figure of those killed 27 years after the massacre happened.

Mrs Namachanja said Mr Kiplagat was willing to attend the hearings but found it difficult since he was facing a tribunal investigating him.
She said another high profile witness had offered to present a written statement to the commission.

“We encourage all of them to come and present their views to us so we can compile a balanced report,” she said.

Mrs Namachanja said the Commission made the right decision to start from North Eastern province, which she said had witnessed the worst form of human rights violations in the country

Add a comment (4 comments so far)

  1. Submitted by si_cheki_ovyo_ovyo
    Posted April 20, 2011 03:18 PM

    It is only Justice Waki who broke the tired cycle of the typical Kenyan commissions of inquiry. Maybe he ought to have been its chairman.

  2. Submitted by Katiba04
    Posted April 20, 2011 03:08 PM

    A lot of money spent on commissions in Kenya. Very little done by them. When was there any meaningful accomplishment done by an independent commission in Kenya?

  3. Submitted by bullajogoo
    Posted April 20, 2011 02:51 PM

    They should be jailed for contempt and the fact that they are absent means they are part of the problem and they should resign from current public ofices.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011



BOSTON, MA - APRIL 18: Geoffrey Mutai #2 of Kenya holds the trophy after winning the men's division of the 115th running of the Boston Marathon on April 18, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 18: Geoffrey Mutai #2 of Kenya holds the trophy after winning the men's division of the 115th running of the Boston Marathon on April 18, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts

Posted Monday, April 18 2011 at 22:45

In Summary

  • Mutai wins men’s race as Kilel runs away with victory in the women’s category


Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai ran the fastest marathon in history to win the 115th Boston Marathon men’s title on Monday while compatriot Caroline Kilel took the women’s crown.

Mutai won in an official time of two hours, three minutes and two seconds to defeat countryman Moses Mosop by four seconds and beat the marathon world-record time of 2:03:59 run in 2008 at Berlin by Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia.

Because Boston is considered a downhill course, it is not considered a world record. Haile Gebrselassi holds the world record (2:03:59), set at Berlin in 2008. Mutai ran the second fastest time in the world last year.

“I knew I could run well but the record was not on my mind,” Mutai said. “I was feeling OK. I was confident in myself. I was training so much.”

Mutai, 29, also broke the Boston Marathon men’s record set by Kenyan Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot last year of 2:05:52.

Course layout differences and wind conditions make sanctioning of a world record tricky, but Mutai’s mark was clearly a stunning effort and easily the best under any conditions.

“I prepared myself well in cross country,” Mutai said. “But I was not having any ideas about the world record.”

Personal best

American Ryan Hall seized the early lead before a pack of 11 closed upon him just after the mid-point of the race and Ethiopia’s Bekana Daba led another surge that dropped half of that dozen.

When Mutai issued another challenge over the final five miles, only Mosop could counter. Mosop closed late but could not overtake Mutai, whose prior personal best was a 2:04:55 from a runner-up effort last year at Rotterdam.

“I knew him but I was confident,” Mutai said. “I tried to push myself. The wind was blowing on all sides all over the course. We were not facing the wind but it was coming from all around us.”

Ethiopian Gebre Gebremariam, who won in New York last October in his marathon debut, was third in 2:04:53, five seconds ahead of Hall in fourth.

With the exception of 2001, when South Korea’s Lee Bong-ju finished first, men from Kenya or Ethiopia have won every single Boston race since 1991.

Penultimate run

Kilel won the women’s race in an official time of 2:22:36, two seconds ahead of American Desiree Davila with Kenya’s Sharon Cherop third in 2:22:42.

In a thrilling finish, Davila passed Kilel for the lead on the penultimate turn but fell behind the Kenyan again as the finish line came in sight.

Davila made a final surge to lead once more but Kilel answered with 200 meters to go and seized the lead for good, collapsing as she crossed the finish line.

“The last 400 I tried to sprint and then I came to sprint again the last 200 meters,’ Kilel said.

Davila just missed becoming the first US woman to win at Boston since Lisa Larsen in 1985.

Friday, April 15, 2011



By Jerry Okungu

Nairobi, Kenya

April 13, 2011

A week before the Ocampo Six appeared at The Hague, I was under siege. Whichever TV station I turned to; it was the Ocampo Six news. Yes, the story was important for Kenyans because we were making history of some sorts.

In fact I was amused to see some media houses accuse the 40 MPs that accompanied the Ocampo Six at The Hague. I was amused because the same media houses did send to the same Hague trials no less than 10 members of their crew each to file their stories live from the ICC precincts. Considering that we had at least five media houses represented, one can estimate that there were more journalists than the MPs we quickly condemned to have wasted resources being there.

What did it cost the media houses to maintain their crew at The Hague for ten days for the hearings that lasted a total of 110 minutes? If one considers the air tickets, hotel accommodation, meals and ground transport, each media personnel spent at least US $ 5000 at The Hague. Therefore the 50 journalists and their support staff must have burnt at least US $ 250,000 in the ten days they camped at The Hague.

The zeal with which we got the reports was commendable and we must congratulate Kenyan media for showing interest in the ICC trials very early in the day. In fact what they did at The Hague was not out of the norm. We saw the same zeal during the South Sudan referendum and at the controversial Ugandan elections.

What was disconcerting in the ICC case was the fact that the supposedly impartial media had lost its impartiality. We looked for the days when the media covered Tom Mboya murder trials, JM Kariuki murder inquest and even the Robert Ouko Commission with utmost respect for fairness.

Unfortunately what we saw coming out of The Hague were the worst kind of glorification of the suspects. The media turned suspects into role models and waited with baited breath every word that came from their mouths. And it did not matter that people like William Ruto and broadcaster Sang made fools of themselves in the court room. Ruto’s “movie” story and Sang’s “innocent journalist” though made at the wrong time became instant punch lines.

What was even more intriguing was the fact that the same suspects they were falling over each other to interview in The Hague were the very suspects they had been hobnobbing with for two good weeks in Rift Valley and Central region rallies. One would have expected our journalists to turn to Kenyans and Africans in the Diaspora, foreign attorneys, judges and Ocampo team to give us a different perspective. This unfortunately they did think important. Celebrating suspects of crime against humanity was more important.

Unfortunately, this media trend has been with us for almost two decades. It is this behavior that has turned Kamlesh Pattni into a folk hero and elevated Artur brothers; common criminals into Hollywood stars overnight. Our media find it difficult to differentiate between what is morally wrong and right. They would rather feed Kenyan audience with junk as long as that junk increases their rating.

When Kenya was embarrassed by 40 MPs singing our national anthem in a disorderly manner in solidarity with the suspects, it was beamed to us unedited.

At The Hague were government officials and MPs in support of the Ocampo Six. But there were Civil Society groups that went there to ensure that the voices of Post Election Violence victims were not lost. Unfortunately, the media gave near total blackout to this other voice. What they wanted to say or would have said did not matter. All we could see was the jostling for suspects and their supporters as they left the courts to the extent that even when one of the suspects called Moreno Ocampo an evil man, he was generously quoted.

As I was agonizing over media reports, I wasn’t sure how other Kenyans were coping until I got a consolation from my editor at one of the media houses that was equally flabbergasted with the whole charade.

This week after the Ocampo Six has faded; many Kenyans have come out to condemn a section of the media that went overboard as mouthpieces of suspects during this disgraced period in Kenya’s history.

Hobnobbing with the Ocampo Six did not start at The Hague. It started right here in Kenya a week before they departed. When two of the suspects started holding highly charged and inflammatory political rallies in Central and Rift Valley regions, some media houses saw nothing wrong with giving them maximum publicity including unedited hate speeches they made. One media house went a notch higher. It gave live interviews to these hate mongers right in its studios soon after the “heroes” had returned from the battle front.

The day the Ocampo Six were departing for The Hague, one would have been excused for thinking that Kenya’s Independence Heroes were departing to Lancaster House to negotiate our freedom. It was a media circus of the highest order.

The same scene had to be repeated on the day the two combative suspects and their cronies arrived home. For five hours, one media house chose to follow the suspects live, giving every angle of their gestures, body language and all. Fortunately for Kenyans, two of the most popular TV stations gave them a blackout. The same media houses chose to air cartoons instead.

The despicable behavior of some media this week is a clear indication that if ever chaos erupts in Kenya, the first group to go to The Hague should not be a small local language broadcaster. Mainstream media that are the first to spread alarmist messages- the type that broadcast hate messages with impunity thinking they are practicing good journalism should be the first to be arrested and charged with hate speech and glorifying crime against humanity.

That way, justice will have been seen to be done.

Monday, April 11, 2011



By Jerry Okungu

Nairobi, Kenya

April 6, 2011

Now that the Ocampo Six are finally in The Hague to face charges of crimes against humanity and perhaps genocide, the pro Ocampo Six have been advancing a theory that history is repeating itself in the Kenyatta family. They are quick to compare Uhuru Kenyatta with his father the founding father of the modern Kenyan nation.

In this analysis, they are quick to predict that just like his father was jailed by the colonial government only to be released a decade later to become the first president; they see Uhuru going through trial in The Hague and later return a hero to lead Kenyans once more. This analogy may be fair only that the reasons why Jomo was jailed are drastically different from charges Uhuru is facing at The Hague court.

To begin with, Uhuru Kenyatta is the only child of Jomo to be charged with crime of murder and genocide that is not related to an ideological struggle for the freedom of Kenya. Unlike his father, he is not in court because of his nationalistic revolutionary struggle but rather; he is alleged to have engineered ethnic retribution against tribes suspected to have killed his Kikuyu tribe in the Rift Valley and other parts of Kenya during the 2007 post election violence.

Coming on the day most of the Ocampo Six were heading to the ICC chambers in The Hague, Synovate opinion polls were telling. They revealed that 61% of Kenyans preferred trials at The Hague contrary to responses that the crowds that attended the Ruto- Uhuru rallies were reported to have resolved. The results reveal one bitter truth that you cannot rely on crowds to make judgment. They can tell you one thing in public yet behind closed doors they are capable of doing the opposite.

Judging by the level of noise we have heard from a section of the political class whenever Prime Minister Raila Odinga of Kenya has suggested the use of Scotland Yard, the FBI and Commonwealth judges to be invited to manage the investigation and trial of post election suspects; we have seen him roundly condemned in public rallies that he is trying to outsource the entire judiciary and the police force. Specifically Raila Odinga has been labeled unpatriotic; a man who wants to be Kenya’s president yet he has no faith in our local institutions.

Yet, a look at Kenya’s history between January 2008 and now reveals that we have had an influx of foreign experts trying to fix a broken Kenya in every which way without us raising a finger.

Soon after the violence broke out in 2008, we had no less than 10 international dignitaries that trooped in to help quell the violence that was already taking dangerous dimensions. They included Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Joachim Chissano of Mozambique, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, John Kufuor of Ghana, Ben Mkapa of Tanzania, Graca Machel of Mozambique, Jendayi Frazer of the USA, Condoleezza Rice of the USA, Ban Ki Moon of the United Nations and retired UN Secretary General Kofi Annan of Ghana. During that period, we never raised our voices about our sovereignty or chased them away because we were not a failed state. We saw no need to fix the problem we had created. We were happy to see Kofi Annan camp at Serena Hotel for months until our broken nation was fixed.

Soon after the national accord was in place, we invited Justice Johan Kriegler of South Africa to chair the commission that investigated our electoral flaws. Again we saw no need to raise issues of sovereignty or outsourcing our judicial responsibilities. When he finished his work, we happily voted to implement his recommendations and actually heeded his advice to disband the Electoral Commission of Kenya.

Ironically as the debate about foreign investigators and judges is raging, we now have on record that the very people who have been opposing the invitation of the FBI, Scotland and judges from the Commonwealth have rushed to hire some of the most expensive lawyers from Britain and Canada. But even before the Ocampo Six shopped for QCs from Britain, Police Commissioner in his wisdom had invited the FBI to help him unravel the drugs trade menace in Kenya.

When Amos Wako finally decided to file admissibility case in The Hague, he quickly hired Sir Geoffrey Nice and Mr. Rodney Dixon of the UK to fight Kenya’s referral case in The Hague. We never raised a finger.

The Ocampo Six were not left behind either. William Ruto hired David Hopper of the UK as Henry Kosgey hired Mr. Ben Emerson also of the UK. Uhuru Kenyatta went the whole hog and outdid every one. He hired Steve Kay, Gillian Kay Higgins and Benjamin Joyes, all of the UK as Ambassador Francis Muthaura settled for Karim Ahmad Khan also of the UK. Former Police Commissioner, General Ali Hussein was the only one who settled for John Philpot of Canada.

With over ten foreign lawyers representing the Ocampo Six at The Hague, one wonders whether there are competent and qualified lawyers in Kenya. Yes, this trial will cost Kenyans millions of British Pounds in a country that depends on Britain for its annual budgets.

Now that the opponents of foreign experts have been the first to rush to foreign lands for defense attorneys; it is time we wasted no time but to invite the Scotland Yard, KGB, Mossad and FBI to investigate post election violence without bothering with our tattered sovereignty.

Thursday, April 7, 2011



Eldoret North MP William Ruto (left, back row), Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey (centre, back row) and radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang (right, back row), three Kenyans being charged in connection with post-electoral violence in 2007-2008, are pictured during their hearing on April 7, 2011 at the International Crime Court (ICC) in the Hague. AFP

Eldoret North MP William Ruto (left, back row), Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey (centre, back row) and radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang (right, back row), three Kenyans being charged in connection with post-electoral violence in 2007-2008, are pictured during their hearing on April 7, 2011 at the International Crime Court (ICC) in the Hague. AFP


Posted Thursday, April 7 2011 at 10:29


  • ICC judges warn Ocampo Six that warrants if arrests will be issued against them if they engage in inciting speeches.
  • ICC judges set Sept 1 as the date when hearings on confirmation of post election violence charges against Ruto, Kosgey and Sang shall start.

Three of the six key post election violence have made their initial appearance before the International Criminal Court Pre-Trial Chamber and will know whether they will stand trial starting September 1.

The hearing was meant to make aware to the suspects the charges facing the three, who ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo believes bear the greatest responsibility for the chaos that left 1,133 people dead and a further 650,00 uprooted from their homes.Eldoret North MP William Ruto, his Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang were represented by their lawyers at the sombre event at The Hague.

The prosecution read the charges to the suspects: There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Ruto, Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang committed crimes against humanity of murder, forcible transfer of population and persecution in Kiambaa, Huruma, Langas, Nandi in the Rift Valley.

The Chamber also asked the suspects if they were aware of their rights, which they answered in the affirmative. In effect, the suspects are innocent until proven guilty, they have the right to access material incriminating them and right to rebut the charges. Further, there will be no undue delay to prosecute them if the court proceedings go to full trial.

Mr Ruto made a pitch to protest his innocence at the earliest opportunity dismissing the alleged charges as "a movie".

However, presiding judge Ekaterina Trendafilova cut him short telling him that he will be given adequate time to absolve himself.

The judges told the suspects that the confirmation hearing of the charges they are alleged to have committed will start on September 1.

On Friday, it will be the turn of three of the Ocampo Six, Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta, head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and Postmaster General Hussein Ali to make their initial appearance.

Below are excerpts of live coverage of the initial appearance for Mr Ruto, Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang.

11: 40 The Judge thanks the parties for conducting themselves professionally and calls to a close the initial appearance of Ruto, Kosgey and Sang.

11: 38 Judge Trendafilova tells the registry to make arrangements for the status conference at 9am on April 18.

11:36 She says ten days will be enough to provide this information.

11: 34 Defence invited to indicate whether they intend to provide rebuttal documents and if they will call witnesses.

11: 33 At the conference, she says the prosecutor should make available an estimate of overall amount of documents he wants to use in the confirmation hearing, witnesses he intends to call and their statements.

11: 31 Judge Trendafilova says a status conference would be necessary on April 18 and the prosecutor, defence and registry are welcome but and informs the suspects they need not appear.

11: 30 Mr Hooper for Ruto says he has just been informed of the confirmation date and requests if it can be brought forward but the Judge tells him it is beneficial to his client.

11: 27 Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo says he requests full disclosure.

11:26 Judge says the Chamber has set September 1 as date of confirmation of charges hearing, but she says the date may be subject to change.

11: 24 She says if Chamber satisfied with evidence it will set a trial date.

11: 23 Judge: You will have adequate time to prepare your defence, no undue delay to be prosecuted if case goes to trial.

11: 20 Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang say they have been informed of their rights, but Sang claims one has been broken.11: 22 Judge Trendafilova tells the suspects they are innocent until proven guilty , the right to access material incriminating them, right to rebut the charges.

11:19 Mr Ruto says his lawyers have had occasion to inform him of his rights and again protests his innocence.

11:17 The judge asks the suspects if they have been informed of their rights.

11: 15 Mr Sang says he had been informed of the charges.

11: 13 Mr Kosgey says that he has been "sufficiently informed" but the details of the crimes have not been provided to him.

11:10 The Judge tells Mr Ruto that he is represented by able lawyers and that he will have an opportunity to raise his arguments.

Ruto: Your honour my rights have been explained and I have had occasion to read. Counsel have also explained the rights to me. I need to have full knowledge of allegations and who made them to enable me respond. Why this has not been done puzzles us. I believe I could have been better prepared to respond. As said earlier, I am innocent. For us to be dragged all this way puzzles us.

11: 08 Mr Ruto says the charges read like a movie script.

11: 06 Mr Ruto says he has been "sufficiently informed" of his alleged crimes and says that he has made a prior but unsuccessful move to rebut the charges at The Hague.

11:05 Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova asks the suspects if they are sufficiently informed of the crimes he has allegedly committed.

11:03 Sang: There are reasonable grounds to believe that he committed crimes against humanity of murder, forcible transfer of population and persecution in Kiambaa, Huruma, Langas, Nandi in the Rift Valley.

11: 02 Kosgey: There are reasonable grounds to believe that he committed crimes against humanity of murder, forcible transfer of population and persecution in Kiambaa, Huruma, Langas, Nandi in the Rift Valley.

10:59 The prosecution reads charges to Ruto: There are reasonable grounds to believe that he committed crimes against humanity of murder, forcible transfer of population and persecution in Kiambaa, Huruma, Langas, Nandi in the Rift Valley.

10: 56 She says that the suspects are not on trial and their appearance is not a confirmation of charges but a hearing to satisfy that the suspects know what they are charged with and their rights.

Judge: We have been reading in the news media about hate speech. We would like to make it clear that we are not referring to anyone in particular but this should be a matter of concern to all. Such speeches could be seen as a breach of the conditions set by the court.

Accordingly we would point out that could constitute a breach of the conditions set out for the summonses to appear and might lead to the summons replaced by warrants of arrest. I would like to point out that this is neither a trial or confirmation of charges hearing.

No evidence will be adduced and neither will there be any apportioning of guilt or innocence. The subject matter of today's hearings in pre- trial chamber is satisfy ourselves that the suspects have been informed of the alleged crime, they have been informed of their rights and to set a date when we intend to start holding hearings for confirmation of charges.

10:54 Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova says that statements attributed to the suspects may be construed as carrying out crimes and may substitute summonses with warrants of arrest.

10:52 The judge says the Bench says it expects the suspects to cooperate and it will not hesitate to impose sanctions in the event of any deviation.

10:47 Its Mr Kosgey's turn. He says that he was born in 1947 in Nandi County and is currently MP for Tinderet.10:49 Mr Sang says he was born in Cherengany and describes himself as "an innocent journalist" working with Kass FM..

10:45 The presiding judge says that the court is satisfied that Mr Ruto is proficient in the English language.

10:44 Mr Ruto is given the opportunity to introduce himself. He says he was born in 1966 at Kamagut village in Uasin Gichu County and says he is a member of Parliament for Eldoret North.

10:42 The presiding judge introduces the Bench.

10:39 Kosgey lead counsel George Oraro introduces his team followed by Katwa Kigen, Sang's lead.

10: 37 The Eldoret North MP confirms that he will be represented by Mr Hooper

10:36 Ruto's lead counsel David Hooper introduces his team and the judge ask Ruto to confirm if he has given him the power of attorney.

10:35 The Judge directs that the defence team to inroduce themselves starting with Ruto, Kosgey and Sang in that order.

10:33 ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo introduces the team that will prosecute the three suspects.

10: 32 The presiding judges gives the parties time to introduce themselves.

10:30 A battery of photojournalist are given one minute to take pictures of the suspects

10: 25 Three of the Ocampo Six are in the dock as the journey to justice for the victims of Kenya’s election violence takes off.

Eldoret North MP William Ruto ,Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey and vernacular radio presenter Joshua Sang are appearing before the Pre-Trial Chamber judges.

Additional reporting by Eric Shimoli, at The Hague