The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Thursday rejected challenges [press release] to the court's jurisdiction in two cases stemming from the 2007 Kenyan post-election violence [JURIST news archive], clearing the way for trial. The pre-trial chamber confirmed charges [JURIST report] against four suspects in January, and their defense lawyers appealed, arguing that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the cases. The appeals chamber rejected the appeals of Francis Muthaura and Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto and Joshua Sang [decisions, PDF]. All four suspects have denied involvement in fomenting the violence that resulted in more than 1,000 deaths.
The four suspects were among six individuals for which the ICC issued summons [JURIST report] last year. In October Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] urged the ICC to expand its investigation [JURIST report] into the post-election violence. The ICC claimed jursidction over the case despite Kenya's calls for dismissal [JURIST report]. The Kenyan government argued that they were capable of prosecuting the accused men domestically.