Kenyan President unlikely to appear at ICC

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – In the aftermath of the attack on a Nairobi shopping mall, Kenya’s president appears increasingly unlikely to attend his trial at the International Criminal Court, where he is charged with crimes against humanity.

Even as heads of state prepare to gather for an African Union summit on Saturday, where they could debate the possible exit of some African countries from the International Criminal Court, Kenyan officials are warning that President Uhuru Kenyatta may not appear in person at The Hague next month for his trial.

“He has cooperated fully with the court up until now,” Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed told a news conference held in front of the president’s downtown Nairobi office on Wednesday. She was referring to past ICC hearings before Kenya’s presidential election in March, Al Jazeera reported.

Mohamed underscored the contrast between then – when Kenyatta was the country’s deputy prime-minister and a presidential candidate – and now, when he is president of East Africa’s most powerful country, which faces a rising threat posed by al-Shabab rebels who are fighting Kenyan forces in neighbouring Somalia.

“Are the circumstances different? Absolutely. Totally. Completely different. Before he wasn’t the head of state of the republic. … It’s going to be the first time that a sitting head is brought before any court of any time, not just here but anywhere in the world,” Mohamed said.

The ICC charges against Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto relate to Kenya’s 2007-08 postelection violence that killed more than 1,000 people.

Kenyatta has asked the court if he can attend the trial by video link. Judges have not yet ruled on that request, but have rejected a similar request from Ruto.

By Tasnim News Agency


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