U.S. reviewing Kenya's case with ICC

Oct. 24, 2013 at 9:50 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. government expects Kenyan leaders to honor their commitment to address post-election violence through ICC cooperation, a spokeswoman said.

The International Criminal Court expects to make a decision Friday on whether or not Kenyan Vice President William Ruto needs to be present for his war crimes trial. Ruto, President Uhuru Kenyatta and national broadcast director Joshua Sang are suspected of committing atrocities during political violence in 2007, which left thousands of Kenyan civilians dead.

Kenya and the African Union appealed to the U.N. Security Council to weigh in on the trials. The Security Council is mandated to either refer cases to the ICC or defer prosecution.

Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said during her regular press briefing Wednesday the U.S. government was reviewing the situation.

"We continue to encourage Kenya to meet its commitments to ensuring accountability for the victims of the post-election violence, including by cooperating with the ICC," she said.

The United States has veto power at the U.N. Security Council as a permanent member.

Kenya and the AU argue the case inhibits sitting leaders from upholding their constitutional obligations. Kenya is still reeling from a September terrorist attack by al-Shabaab on the upscale Westgate shopping center in Nairobi that killed 72 people and injured 200.

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