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Kenya post-election violence case 'unstoppable'

12 May 10 16:53 GMT

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor has said his case against perpetrators of Kenya's post-election violence is "unstoppable".

Luis Moreno Ocampo told the BBC his investigation would last about six months and he intended to prosecute up to six suspects in two separate trials.

Winding up a five-day visit to Kenya, he would not be drawn on whether Kenyan cabinet ministers might be indicted.

More than 1,300 people died in fighting after late 2007's disputed elections.

Mr Ocampo - who said he hoped the trials would go ahead in 2011 - met victims of the upheavals and senior government officials during his visit to Kenya.

"I selected the worst incidents, I collected evidence about what happened, how they were committed, and according to the evidence, I will find who is the most responsible for these crimes."

Witnesses 'threatened'

Asked if he thought the country's political leaders would co-operate, he said: "I think we're moving in the direction that no-one can stop this… This is unstoppable."

The prosecutor said he had been welcomed by Kenya's politicians during a five-day visit, but he would not say if any cabinet ministers might find themselves before The Hague.

Mr Ocampo has earlier warned his investigation would target politicians from both sides of Kenya's coalition government.

He has said up to 60 witnesses would be called and they would be protected. Potential witnesses have complained of being threatened.

After 2007's disputed vote, Kenya imploded and powerful politicians, as well as wealthy business leaders, were accused of organising and fuelling attacks.

The rival politicians signed a peace deal and agreed to set up a local tribunal to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators.

But the ICC stepped in because the politicians were blocking the investigation: so far no-one has been punished.

Asked about Kenya's record of violence and impunity, Mr Ocampo acknowledged "bad things" had happened.

But he added: "I know there are many problems, but I see they are moving in the right direction."

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