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Kenyan Parliament Urges Withdrawal From ICC

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Kenya's parliament has voted for the country to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, where President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy are due to be tried for crimes against humanity.

Thursday's vote followed a tense debate and a walkout by opposition lawmakers. Even if Kenya formalizes its withdrawal from the court, however, the action would have mo effect on the pending trials.

Parliamentary majority leader Aden Duale said leaving the ICC would "redeem" Kenya's image and protect the country's citizens and sovereignty.

President Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, are both accused of orchestrating violence after Kenya's 2007 elections - a prolonged period of unrest in which about 1,200 people were killed.

Both men say they are innocent, but they have pledged to cooperate with the international tribunal in The Hague. Ruto's trial is scheduled to begin next week, with proceedings against Mr. Kenyatta scheduled for November.

Tribunal prosecutors say relatives of witnesses have received both threats and offers of bribes to alter their testimony.

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