Civil society seeks details of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s suit by ICC lawyers

KENYA: Efforts by civil society to obtain details of a confidential suit filed by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ICC lawyers in the High Court have been futile, the High Court was told Monday.

An application by lawyer Harun Ndubi, in which he seeks to be enjoined as an interested party in the suit, says that searches by the Kenyans for Peace, Truth and Justice at the High Court registry for copies of the nature of the proceedings have been unsuccessful.

He says a letter written by the Registrar of the High Court confirms that the suit was indeed filed as a confidential suit and that its details could only be obtained through a miscellaneous application.

Ndubi is seeking orders to be enjoined in the suit on grounds that Kenyatta’s lawyers seek to obtain third party information such as telephone numbers of various people without involving all parties likely to be affected by such orders.

He argues that should Kenyatta’s lawyers obtain the orders they seek, it is likely to infringe on the liberties and freedoms of various sections of the Kenyan society, including victims of the post-election violence of 2008.

“It is a curious thing that the proceedings in question sought to obtain third parties information without involving any of the third parties whose rights are protected in the Constitution,” Ndubi says.

He claims that among the people likely to be affected by such orders are the victims of the post-election violence, whose personal information he says Kenyatta’s lawyers wish to access.

Through lawyer Julie Soweto, he argues that the Kenyatta suit is also likely to have an impact on members of civil society who have been working with victims of the post-election violence.

“I’m reasonably apprehensive that the subject proceedings could and will have a direct bearing on the victims of post-election violence and members of civil society and could infringe upon our liberties, fundamental rights and freedoms,” he argues in the application.

Soweto told Justice Mumbi Ngugi that Ndubi is legally entitled to the information regarding the confidential suit that was filed by Kenyatta’s legal counsel Stephen Kay.