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Kenya lawmakers approve motion to withdraw from ICC

The Kenyan Parliament [official website] on Wednesday approved a motion to withdraw the country from the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. The vote comes a week after ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] presented cases against [JURIST report] six individuals for crimes committed during Kenya's 2007 post-election violence [JURIST news archive]. Although the vote is non-binding, it is a victory for the sponsor of the legislation [Reuters report], Isaac Ruto, who wants the six suspects to be tried in Kenya. The individuals being prosecuted include senior politicians and civil servants. Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga [BBC profile] announced Thursday his opposition to leaving the ICC, stating that the trials will take take place at The Hague.

Earlier this month, the ICC prosecutor announced that Kenya's threats would not prevent the prosecution [JURIST report] of the six suspects responsible for Kenya's 2007 post-election violence. According to the statement, the ICC prosecutor would obtain arrest warrants for individuals behind these threats. The controversy surrounding the ICC's trial of Kenyan suspects followed from the prosecutor's September announcement [JURIST report] of charges against the six Kenyan suspects. This announcement came after the ICC pre-trial chamber granted [press release] the prosecutor authority to investigate into crimes against humanity committed during the 60 days of violence after the Kenya's presidential election. Violence following the election left more than 1,100 people dead, 3,500 injured and up to 600,000 forcibly displaced. In addition, there were hundreds of rapes and more than 100,000 different properties were destroyed in Kenya.

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