By Felix Olick
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has notified the trial Chamber of her intention to recharacterise acts of forcible circumcision and penile amputation as other forms of sexual violence.
The new Prosecutor also wants looting and destruction of property to be considered as predicate act underlying the charge of deportation, forcible transfer of population and persecution.
“Forcible circumcision and penile amputation can and should be characterised as “other forms of sexual violence” under Article 7(1), looting and the destruction of property can and should be considered as predicate acts underlying the charge of persecution under Article 7(1)(h), as well as the charge of deportation or forcible transfer under Article 7(1)(d),” Ms Bensouda argued in her submission.
Bensouda told the Trial Chamber led by Presiding Judge Kuniko Ozaki that they have factual evidence regarding forcible circumcision and penile amputation that took place in Naivasha against perceived ODM supporters during post-poll mayhem.
“Attackers went from house to house rounding up and forcibly circumcising Luo men using pangas and broken bottles,” Bensouda reminded the three judge Bench.
“Forty-five cases of sexual violence were reported during this (January 24 and 27, 2008) period, including forced male circumcision and rapes. Six people were treated at the Nakuru Provincial General Hospital for traumatic circumcision and penile amputation,” the Prosecution alleges.
During the Pre Trial stage, Pre-Trial Judges led by Ekaterina Trendafilova held that the acts of forcible circumcision and penile amputation did not support the Prosecution’s “other forms of sexual violence” charge.
The judges ruled that there was, in the Chamber’s view, no showing that forcible circumcision and penile amputation were of a sexual nature as required by the Elements of Crimes.