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Kenya Asks UN to Scrap Kenyatta, Ruto's ICC Trials

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at the Somalia conference in London, Britain, May 7, 2013.
Kenya is making a new push to terminate proceedings at the Hague against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto.

Kenyan officials have sent a strongly-worded letter to the U.N. Security Council, asking it to petition the International Criminal Court (ICC) to drop the cases.

Kenyatta and Ruto face trial at the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in Kenya's 2007-2008 post-election violence, in which more than 1,100 people were killed.

The letter to the Security Council argued that the ICC is not impartial, and that violence could break out in Kenya if the two leaders are put on trial. It stressed the request is for termination of the proceedings, not just a deferral.

Under the terms of the ICC's creation, the Security Council can ask for a case to be postponed for a year but cannot order the court to drop a case completely.

Kenyatta is currently scheduled to go on trial in July. Ruto's trial was set to begin next month, but on Monday, ICC judges ordered a delay while it sorts out issues with prosecutors and defense attorneys.

Both men are accused of helping to orchestrate ethnic violence that broke out after the disputed Kenyan presidential election in late 2007.

Despite the charges, Kenyatta won a first-round victory in Kenya's presidential election in March. Both he and Ruto have denied the charges against them.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.