Five East African countries have written to the International Criminal Court (ICC) contesting the article of the Rome Statute that says "the accused shall be present during the trial", Kenya's Daily Nation reported Thursday (September 12th).
Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania want the ICC to strike a balance between its jurisdiction and the responsibilities of those who occupy high office, while the three countries plus Uganda and Eritrea want the court to allow room for leaders to execute their constitutional duties.
The move supports Kenya's request that President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto be exempted from attending all court hearings.
ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has argued that Ruto must be present at the court throughout his trial, which opened September 10th. Kenyatta's trial is set to begin November 13th.