The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague has constituted a panel to hear a case filed by a Nairobian challenging the unfair trial, sentencing, punishment and death of Jesus Christ.
Dola Indidis, a lawyer and former spokesman of the Kenyan Judiciary, first filed the unprecedented case in the High Court in Nairobi on behalf of the ‘Friends of Jesus’ in August 2007 (Republic of Kenya Constitutional Petition No. 965 of 2007). The court said it had no jurisdiction, prompting Indidis to seek international justice at the Netherlands-based court in 2011.
“The court has communicated to me. I am now waiting for the date of hearing,” Indidis told The Nairobian.
There has been no trial or execution in history that has had such a huge impact, especially in Christianity, as that of Jesus of Narazeth in Roman occupied Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago.
“I filed the case because it’s my duty to uphold the dignity of Jesus and I have gone to the ICJ to seek justice for the man from Nazareth,” said Indidis, who is also a former police spokesperson. “His selective and malicious prosecution violated his human rights through judicial misconduct, abuse of office bias and prejudice.”
Indidis moved to the ICJ in The Hague to have the conviction and sentencing of Jesus Christ quashed arguing that he was “Convinced that Pontius Pilate erred in law by convicting and sentencing Jesus Christ while acknowledging his own lack of jurisdiction and the accused’s innocence.”
The case was first filed under sections 65 and 67 of the constitution of Kenya (now repealed). The petitioner was Friends of Jesus through Dola Indidis suing Tiberius (Emperor of Rome 42 BC-37AD), Pontius Pilate (Governor of Judea), Annas, Jewish Chief Priest, Jewish elders, Jewish teachers of the law, King Herod, The Republic of Italy and The State of Israel.
The Kenya Civil Liberties Union was listed as an Amicus Curie while Humprey Odanga Achala was an interested party.
The petitioners named the states of Italy and Israel in the suit because upon the attainment of independence, the states incorporated the laws of the Roman Empire and those in force at the time of the Crucifixion.
Jewish Chief Priest Caiaphas is accused of arresting Jesus, trying him in a kangaroo court and convicting him on a religious charge that carried the death penalty because he did not want Jesus to challenge his authority, especially not at Passover time.
Pilate, the Governor of Judea, found Jesus not guilty, but had him executed in order to keep the peace.
“It was wrong for Pilate to witness the accused being beaten,” Indidis says. “A judge must stand above all people and all forms of irregularities.”
The petitioner challenged the mode of questioning used during the trial, prosecution, hearing and sentencing of Jesus Christ; the form of punishment meted out on Him while undergoing judicial proceedings and the substance of the information used to convict him.
Indidis wants to establish what crime Jesus was charged with and prays that the court declares “that the proceedings before the Roman courts were a nullity in law for they did not conform to the rule of law at the material time and any time thereafter.”
He says: “Some of those present spat in his face, struck him with their fists, slapped him, taunted him, and pronounced him worthy of death.”
Asked if this is a frivolous case pursued by a zealot, Indidis told The Nairobian: “This case is not about fanaticism. It’s a case of law and it’s the duty of counsel to help in the development of law.”
The lawyer says the petitioners are relying on the precedence of the case of Joan of Ark, the peasant girl who proclaimed herself the virgin warrior sent by God to deliver France from her enemies the English, whose trial was later on reversed.
“This is the same case with Jesus,” Indidis explains. “The judge who sentenced him said that he had no jurisdiction to attend to the matter but he went ahead to convict and pass a capital sentence under duress.
He adds that the judgement meted was not even right because under the Galilean law the sentence of blasphemy was stoning to death, but Jesus was crucified — a punishment that was under the Roman law.
“Blasphemy against the God of Jews was not even a crime under Roman law. The judge passed the wrong sentence,” he says.
Who was responsible? Was it an execution or a judicial murder?
The lawyer, who delved into politics in the last General Election, says that he researched for over 10 years before filing the case in court.
“My research was not misguided or emotional. It was purely academic,” he says. “I know that I have a strong case and I hope to see justice done while I am alive.”