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Kenyatta first serving president to appear before ICC

Kenyatta first serving president to appear before ICC
October 08
13:55 2014

Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, arrived at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on Wednesday to appear on charges of crimes against humanity, making him the first serving head of state to ever come before the court.

Kenyatta was indicted for his alleged role in the violence that followed the 2007 elections, in which more than 1,000 Kenyans were killed and tens of thousands more were displaced. The prosecution has accused the Kenyan government of obstructing the case against the president by withholding key documents.

Addressing the Kenyan parliament, Kenyatta said that he was going to The Hague as a private citizen – not as president of the country – in order not to compromise the sovereignty of Kenyans. He appointed his deputy, William Ruto, to serve as acting president while he is at The Hague.

Kenyatta, who is accused of five charges relating to ethnic massacres, stressed his innocence.

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“My conscience is clear, has been clear, and will remain forever clear that I am innocent of all the accusations levelled against me,” he said.

He was elected president in 2013 despite facing ICC charges.

Analysts have regarded the case as a major test of ICC’s relevance, having secured only two convictions since it was set up in 2002 to prosecute claims of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

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