Former senior police officers implicated in the killing of Baby Pendo and other victims after the 2017 General Election have had their application for a multi-judge panel in a petition challenging crimes against humanity dismissed by the High Court. The officers, charged under the International Crimes Act in 2022, argued that their prosecution did not meet the threshold for crimes against humanity.

Justice Kanyi Kimondo, while acknowledging the gravity of the issues raised, ruled that a single judge could sufficiently address the questions posed in the petition. He pointed out that the International Crimes Act, dating back to 2008, might require amendments to align it fully with the Constitution, but this could be addressed by a single judge.

The charges against the officers, including murder, rape, and torture, stem from the killing of 39 people in Kisumu County after the 2017 elections. The officers sought a determination on whether the allegations met the threshold of international crimes and whether they held positions of command or effective responsibility over the police officers involved.

The accused officers, including Titus Yoma, John Chengo, Benjamin Koima, and others, argued that there were substantial legal issues, such as resolving conflicts between the International Crimes Act and the Rome Statute, and defining applicable regulations or trial procedures before the High Court.

Justice Kimondo acknowledged the complexity of the issues but emphasized that they could be conveniently determined by a single judge. He noted that the formation of a panel of judges might bring more perspectives, but the decision would not rank any higher than that of a single judge.

The officers allegedly committed the offenses in August 2017 in Nyalenda, Kisumu, following the disputed election results. An inquest into the death of Baby Samantha Pendo had earlier found police officers liable for her death.

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