Kenya's President arrives at ICC to hear crimes against humanity charges


After failing to persuade the International Criminal Court (ICC) to postpone his appearance, Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, arrived in The Hague late on Tuesday to hear charges of crimes against humanity leveled against him by the court on Wednesday.

Kenyatta becomes the first serving head of state to ever come before the ICC.

The charges against him concern his role in the violence that followed Kenya’s 2007 elections, in which more than 1 000 people were killed.

Kenyatta denies the charges.

The ICC has summoned him to explain allegations that evidence against him had been withheld by the Kenyan government - a claim rejected by Kenyan Attorney-General Githu Muigai who appeared before the court on Tuesday.

Still in September, the court postponed the trial after prosecutors said the Kenyan government had failed to deliver key documents. Witnesses for the prosecution have withdrawn from the case.

On Monday, Kenyatta stressed his innocence in a live broadcast in the Kenyan parliament, saying his conscience was clear.

He said that he was going to The Hague in a personal capacity - not as president of the country - so as not to compromise the sovereignty of Kenyans.

Deputy President William Ruto will be acting president while Kenyatta is at The Hague.

No special arrangements have been made for him at the ICC. The ICC’s main spokesperson said that Kenyatta would not be treated differently from any other accused person.

Photo caption: I'M INNOCENT... Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta.