MPs pass motion urging Kenya to withdraw from ICC

Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:43pm GMT

* Motion not binding but bad day for Kenya-justice minister

* Kenya not yet compelled to pull out of ICC

* ICC named cabinet ministers as violence masterminds

NAIROBI, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Lawmakers passed a motion on Wednesday urging Kenya to withdraw from the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) in a bid to block trials at The Hague of post-election violence suspects.

The vote does not compel Kenya to quit the ICC, but is an initial victory for the sponsor of the motion, legislator Isaac Ruto, who wants the six suspects named by the ICC as architects of the post-election violence in 2008 to be tried in Kenya.

The justice minister, who opposed the motion, said the government was not bound by it, and the next step is for Ruto to draft a bill for debate in parliament.

Three cabinet ministers, the cabinet secretary and a former police chief were among the six men named last Wednesday as suspected of being behind the fighting that rocked Kenya after disputed presidential elections in December 2007.

Ruto, the motion's sponsor, is allied with, but not related to, William Ruto, the suspended higher education minister, who is among the six suspects. William Ruto has been suspended from his duties to fight a corruption case.   Continued...

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