News / Africa

ICC: Kenyan President Must Attend Trial

FILE - Deputy Kenyan President William Ruto addresses the media at a news conference at the Movenpick Hotel in the Hague, Oct. 15, 2013.
FILE - Deputy Kenyan President William Ruto addresses the media at a news conference at the Movenpick Hotel in the Hague, Oct. 15, 2013.
VOA News
The International Criminal Court has reversed a ruling that required Kenya's president to attend only parts of his trial for crimes against humanity.

The Hague-based court said Tuesday that President Uhuru Kenyatta "as a general rule" must be present in court. It said other requests for the Kenyan leader to miss parts of his trial will be considered on a "case-by-case basis."

Last month, the ICC ruled that Kenyatta would have to attend only key parts of the trial, which is set to begin in February.

Kenya's president and his deputy, William Ruto, are charged with crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in orchestrating ethnic violence after Kenya's 2007 presidential election. More than 1,100 people died.

Kenyan officials have argued the two men cannot spend long periods of time in The Hague while the country fights the threat of regional terrorism. Somali militant group al-Shabab attacked a Nairobi mall in September, killing more than 60 civilians.

Earlier this month, the U.N. Security Council rejected an African proposal to delay the trials of Kenyatta and Ruto. Kenya's government had asked the council to call for a 12-month delay.

Both men have denied the charges, but have agreed to cooperate with the court. Ruto's trial is already in progress.

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