Kenyan parliament votes to quit International Criminal CourtBy PressTV | Last updated: Sep 16, 2013 - 7:42:15 AM
Following four hours of debate in an emergency session held on Thursday, members of the Kenyan parliament voted overwhelmingly to withdraw the country from the world's war crimes court, making Kenya the first state to leave the Rome Statute which established the ICC.
ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, a lawyer from Gambia, said the upcoming trials of Vice President William Ruto, and President Uhuru Kenyatta would continue in The Hague despite Thursday’s vote.
On November 12, an ICC trial will open for Kenyatta, who faces five charges of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, persecution, deportation and other inhumane acts perpetrated during the post-election unrest.
Although the lawmakers voted for a withdrawal, the country can actually pull out from the ICC by submitting a formal request, which would take about a year.
Both houses of Kenya's parliament are dominated by the Jubilee coalition of Kenyatta and Ruto.
"Withdrawing from the Rome Statute has no impact on cases already open, it does not affect investigations, proceedings or trials which have already started," ICC spokesman Fadi al-Abdallah said.
Kenyatta and Ruto, who have both denied the charges against them, say they would cooperate with the court fully.
Established in The Hague in 2002, the ICC is tasked with dealing with genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.