AU demands Kenyatta trial delay

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NAIROBI – The African Union summit in Ethiopia has demanded a deferral of The Hague trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, due to start in November.

It also agreed a resolution stating no sitting African head of state should appear before an international court.

With both Kenyan and Sudanese presidents facing ICC cases, African leaders have long complained that the court unfairly targets them.

The AU had discussed withdrawing from the ICC, but failed to get support.

Senior figures including Kofi Annan have criticised plans to quit the ICC.

The AU leaders, meeting in Addis Ababa, agreed to back immunity for any sitting African head of state.

They also asked Kenya to write to the UN Security Council seeking a deferral in the International Criminal Court (ICC) case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces charges of crimes against humanity.

Both he and his deputy, William Ruto, deny charges of organising violence after the 2007 election.

While Mr Ruto went on trial in September, President Kenyatta has repeatedly requested his trial – due next month – be postponed.

Addressing the summit, Mr Kenyatta accused the court of bias and "race-hunting", AFP reports.

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