Nairobi - Kenya's parliament was recalled on Tuesday to debate ending
membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC), ahead of a crimes against
humanity trial of the vice-president starting there next week.
Parliamentary Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso issued the order for the
"special sitting of the assembly", with parliament to meet on
However, even should Kenya choose to leave the ICC - the first country
potentially to do so - it would not affect upcoming trials since legal
proceedings have already started.
On Tuesday, the ICC trial opens of Vice-President William Ruto on three
counts of crimes against humanity for allegedly organising 2007-2008
post-election unrest that killed at least 1 100 people and displaced more than
Ruto's trial comes some two months ahead of that of President Uhuru
Kenyatta, who faces five charges of crimes against humanity, including murder,
rape, persecution, deportation and other inhumane acts.
Lawmakers are expected to debate and vote on a possible departure from the
Rome Statute of the ICC, following a request from the senate's majority leader
"Any law in this country or internationally like the Rome Statute can
be repealed and can be amended," said Asman Kamama, one of at least 30
lawmakers supporting Kindiki's petition.
"It is not cast in stone and we want to be the trail blazers in the
The Hague-based court was set up in 2002 to try the world's worst crimes,
and countries voluntarily signed up to join.
A formal request for withdrawal would also need to be submitted, a process
that could take several months.
Kenyatta's trial opens in The Hague on 12 November.
Both Kenyatta and Ruto have said they will co-operate fully with the court.
They deny the charges against them.
Radio boss Joshua Arap Sang will stand trial alongside Ruto, also on crimes
against humanity charges.
The 2007 elections were marred by allegations of vote rigging, but what
began as political riots quickly turned into ethnic killings and reprisal
attacks, plunging Kenya into its worst wave of violence since independence in
Kenyatta and Ruto were elected in March in peaceful polls.