Kenya backing away from ICC

Sept. 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A decision to back away from the International Criminal Court aligns Kenya with some of the strongest nations in the world, a parliamentary leader said.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto face war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court for their alleged role in post-election violence in 2007. At least 1,000 people died and another 600,000 were displaced in Kenya by the violence.

Kenyatta was elected to his first term in March.

Aden Duale, majority leader in the Kenyan Parliament, said the government was looking to pull out of the Rome Statute that created the court.

"We want Kenyans to be part of the millions of people who are not party to the court," he was quoted as saying Wednesday by The Daily Nation newspaper in Kenya. "About 80 percent of the world's population does not subscribe to the court. India, China, the United States are yet to ratify the statute."

ICC envoy for Kenya and Uganda Maria Kamara told the newspaper Monday pulling out of the statute won't influence cases already on its books.

"The withdrawal will not affect the [current] cases," she said. "It can only affect future cases which the court may wish to pursue."

The ICC said Rutto's trial could get under way as early as next week. The trial for Kenyatta is scheduled to begin Nov. 12. Both men deny the charges.

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