ICC allows Kenya president to be absent from trial Max Slater at 9:54 AM ET
[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website; JURIST backgrounder] ruled [decision, PDF] on Friday that Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta [official website; JURIST news archive] need not be present for his whole trial for crimes against humanity. The court issued its decision in response to growing tensions [Reuters report] between the Kenyan government and the ICC regarding the court's authority to exercise jurisdiction over Kenyan officials. The ICC also reasoned that requiring Kenyatta to be present for all proceedings may interfere with his abilities to govern:
[I]t...needs to be stressed here that the conditional excusal granted to Mr. Kenyatta in this decision is purely a matter of reasonable accommodation of the demanding functions of his office as the President of Kenya, and not merely the gratification of the dignity of his own occupation of that office.
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