Lobby Group wants Uhuru, Ruto barred from ICC trials

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) confers with Deputy President William Ruto (right) and Head of Public Service Francis Kimemia (left) at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) before leaving for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to attend a regional summit May 3, 2013. PPS

The push by some MPs to withdraw the country from the Rome Statute got a boost Tuesday following a petition by a civil society group to stop the president and his deputy from attending criminal trials at The Hague.

The National Conservative Forum (NCF) filed an urgent application arguing that there will be a leadership vacuum and a constitutional crisis should President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto travel to the Hague to face trials.

Through lawyer John Khaminwa, the lobby claimed that the constitution requires both the president and the deputy to be in the country unless any and only one of them is out of the country on normal and official state duties.

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“There is imminent and impending power vacuum and imbalance that shall lead to a constitutional vacuum and practical difficulties in running the affairs of this country if the two go to The Hague,” said Mr Khaminwa.

END OF THEIR TERM

The lobby wants the court to order Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto to attend the trials after the end of their term and that the court should issue a declaration that the ratification of the Rome statue was inconsistent with constitution and declare the International Crimes Act unconstitutional.

The group argue that the political arms of government, being the executive and the legislature, which ratifies treaties, have no capacity to ratify treaties that relinquish the rights and fundamental freedoms of Kenyans citizens enumerated in the Constitution.

NCF trustee Jennifer Shammala, in a sworn affidavit, further states that since Kenya is constantly facing security threat from within and outside the absence of the president and his deputy will put the country and its citizens at risk.

Justice Weldon Korir certified the case urgent and directed the petitioner to serve the Attorney General who is listed as respondent before the end of the day and return to court Wednesday for further directions.-nation.co.ke

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