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TNA: Let president decide on ICC fate

22 September 2014, 19:02 William Korir

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta will decide whether he will attend the ICC status conference or not, TNA chairman George Onyango Oloo has said.

The president is expected to attend the October 8 ICC status conference on his trial in the Hague based court.

The ICC has however now handed him the option of taking a video link instead of the embarrassing option of heading to trial.

That said, members of the Jubilee coalition have had their say for the supposed route they feel the president should take over the matter.

They will meet Thursday to deliberate on it.

TNA chairman George Onyango Oloo though, says that despite the meetings and planned resolutions, they understand that the decsion on what to do rests with the president.

Read also: Central MP tells Uhuru to obey ICC orders

" In the end it is up to the president and we understand that", he said.

" We will obviously look to have stand that we feel is right and believe in, but the president will be the one to decide in the end what to do", he added.

Kenyatta, who faces five counts at the ICC over his alleged role in masterminding election-related violence in 2007-2008, was ordered to appear on October 8, the Hague-based court said in a statement last week.

It would be the first time Kenyatta has appeared in court, as he has repeatedly argued he needs to remain in Kenya to fight militants from the Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab group, and manage state affairs.

The ICC said discussion with Kenyatta, and another hearing a day earlier with a Nairobi representative, would focus on "the status of cooperation between the prosecution and the Kenyan government and issues raised in the prosecution's notice of 5 September 2014".

"A representative of the Kenyan government is invited to attend the first status conference and Mr Kenyatta is required to be present at the second status conference," it said.

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked judges to postpone the trial indefinitely, blaming Kenyan authorities for blocking access to key evidence that could show Kenyatta had bankrolled the post-election ethnic violence in which 1,200 people were killed and 600,000 others were displaced.

Read also: Uhuru under pressure as ICC summon awaits

Without those documents, she said, there was insufficient grounds to prosecute the powerful East African leader, prompting his lawyers again to call for the case to be dropped.

Nairobi has rejected claims it has stonewalled the ICC in refusing to hand over the documents, including company records, bank statements, records of land transfers, tax returns, phone records and foreign exchange records.

The ICC also formally postponed the latest opening date -- October 7 -- for Kenyatta's repeatedly delayed trial.

The trial of rival-turned-partner, Kenyan Vice President William Ruto, who faces similar charges -- opened in the Hague in September 2013.

Lawyers for victims of the 2007-2008 violence have lambasted Nairobi authorities for a "deliberate policy of obstruction", while Amnesty International has highlighted the desperation of victims who were wounded and lost property during the unrest.

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