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Kenya UN ambassador seeks dismissal of ICC charges against president

Kenya's ambassador to the UN, Macharia Kamau, has sent a letter to the UN Security Council [official website] asking that the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] charges against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and Vice President William Ruto be dismissed, accusing the ICC of lack of impartiality, threatening regional security and violating Kenyans' wishes. In a letter dated May 2, Kamau specifically requested [CSM report] that the US, China, Russia and India use their influence among the 15-member Security Council to have the charges thrown out. Under the ICC's current structure, the Security Council may defer a case [BCC report] for up to 12 months, but does not have the power to order a dismissal. Kenyatta and his deputy president Ruto are facing ICC charges of crimes against humanity for their alleged involvement in violence following the 2007 election [JURIST news archive] where allegations of fraud [JURIST report] led to more than a thousand deaths in ethnic clashes following the election.

In April Kenyatta was sworn in as the country's fourth president following an appeal [JURIST reports] in March by Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga [Al Jazeera profile] attempting to invalidate the election results [JURIST report]. Later in March Kenya's Supreme Court [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that the results were valid. Prior to the Supreme Court's decision Kenyatta's lawyer asked the ICC to drop the charges [JURIST report] against him for lack of evidence, but the prosecution refused. Kenyatta's request was based on the ICC's withdrawal of charges against co-defendant Francis Muthaura for lack of evidence. Kenyatta's lawyers claimed the evidence against Muthaura and Kenyatta was the same, but the prosecution disagreed. Kenyatta's trial was previously postponed [JURIST report], and it will begin on July 9.

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