Botswana backs bid to suspend ICC trials

PHOTO | VINCENT JANNINK | FILE This picture taken on September 5, 2011 shows the International Criminal Court's building in The Hague.

What you need to know:

  • Time lag would allow Mr Kenyatta to focus on the threat of terrorism by Al-Shabaab
  • Kenya had formally filed an application to the UN Security Council seeking the deferral
  • Article 16 of the court’s Rome Statute allows for an initial delay of a year

GABORONE

BY MTOKOZISI DUBE

Botswana has said there are legitimate reasons to have the International Criminal Court (ICC) suspend President Uhuru Kenyata’s trial scheduled for November 12.

Botswana’s minister of foreign affairs, Mr Phandu Skelemani said the time lag would allow Mr Kenyatta to focus on the threat of terrorism by Al-Shabaab.

Mr Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto face charges of crimes against humanity before The Hague based court.

Mr Ruto confirmed Kenya had formally filed an application to the UN Security Council seeking the deferral of the cases at the ICC.

“We have got Al-Shabbab and Al Qaeda attacking and this is not a very settled political situation right now, so he has to be there to take charge,” Mr Skelemani said.

He said Article 16 of the court’s Rome Statute allows for an initial delay of a year.

He added President Kenyatta’s willingness to clear his name was a respectable approach to the matter.

“President Kenyatta wanted to clear his name. We agree with that and Botswana feels that was an honourable approach and we are willing to help him clear his name and for the case to go ahead,” he said.

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