Nairobi, January 23, 2012 (FH) - Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki today instructed the country's attorney general to form a committee to study and advise the government after the International Criminal Court confirmed crimes against humanity charges against four top Kenyans. The four include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and member of parliament William Ruto, who both intend to run for the next presidential elections in 2013.

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"I have with immediate effect directed the Attorney General to constitute a legal team to study the ruling and advise on the way forward," Kibaki said in a statement. "While the ICC process was underway, we enacted a new Constitution, substantially enhanced the capacity of our criminal justice system and made great strides in the reform within our system in the administration of justice." Kibaki called for peace and stability in the country.

The executive director of the Kenyan branch of the International Commission of Jurists, George Kegoro, meanwhile called for Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to suspend Kenyatta and Ruto from their jobs.

Ruto told journalists that he was innocent and vowed to vie for the presidency despite the ICC's confirmation of charges against him. "This is to confirm I am firmly in the race. Let us meet at the ballot," Ruto told a news conference after the ICC decision was announced

Last week, Kenyatta also vowed to stay in the presidential race even if the ICC confirmed the charges against him.

ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II confirmed charges against Ruto, Kenyatta, Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang for their alleged role in the 2007-2008 post-election violence that left at least 1,000 dead and displaced hundreds of thousands. Many are still in IDP camps.

Sang also rejected the charges against him, saying that "lies, falsehood and plagiarism" had found their way to the ICC.  "I will involve all the available legal means to contest the decision made both in the immediate and the long term," he said, explaining that he would appeal the decision.


© Hirondelle News Agency