PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday said that his impending trial at the International Criminal Court is no longer a personal matter.
"I am no longer a private citizen observing personal obligations," State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu posted on Twitter yesterday quoting the president.
At the weekend the African Union resolved that Uhuru should not go to the Hague for his trial scheduled to start on November 12 until the ICC has responded to AU's concerns.
The AU has previously suggested that the cases of Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto should be returned to East Africa, or should be deferred until they are no longer in power.
"It was also decided that the President should not appear before the court until the concerns raised by the AU have been adequately addressed by the Security Council and the ICC," Foreign Secretary Amina Mohammed told a press conference yesterday,
"The President's case is due to begin on November 12 2013, in a month's time. The AU made requests to the Security Council, first under paragraph 9 (iii) for a suspension of the proceedings until the end of the terms in office of the President and his Deputy," said Amina, emphasising that Kenya would continue to cooperate with the ICC.
"The AU asked that the trial of the President and the proceedings against the Deputy President be suspended, until such a time that the Security Council considers the request for deferral," said Amina.
The Daily Telegraph in the UK reported yesterday that "Western diplomats are preparing a UN Security Council resolution that would put the ICC case on hold" and that "
European officials have sought to adopt measures to ensure Mr Kenyatta is not forced to leave the country in the wake of the Westgate incident."
"Uhuru is not an indicted figure who is defying the court like Sudan's president (Omar) Bashir. He is someone who is working closely with the West in a region in chaos that needs to tackle a very worrying terrorist situation," a senior European diplomat told the Telegraph. "A solution must be found that avoids a breakdown in relations with Kenyatta or the court's authority."
Yesterday British High Commission spokesman John Bradshaw said, "the UK position has not changed and we welcome President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto's continued cooperation with the court."
However he added, "We are keen to engage in further dialogue on issues of concern including at the ICC assembly of state parties in November."
An ICC spokesman said it could not stop the UN Security Council invoking international security issues to suspend the case.
"The Security Council can adopt a resolution to impose a suspension based on the protection of peace and security in world," said the ICC spokesman Fadi al-Abullah.
"In that case it would be out of the hands of the prosecutor as the ICC has no role to advise the security council in these matters," he added.
Uhuru's statement appeared to contradict his assertion in February during the TV election debate that the ICC case was a "personal challenge."
"It is my democratic right to present myself to the people of Kenya. If they so chose to elect me, it means they have confidence in me to continue doing my job as President while handling the cases," Uhuru said during the debate.
In the last few weeks, efforts to halt or reject the ICC cases have intensified.
Last week, Uhuru's lawyer Steven Kay urged the trial judges to permanently stay the proceedings accusing the prosecution of interfering with the defence's investigations.
He told the court that three prosecution witnesses identified as OTP-118, OTP-11 and OTP-12, had contact Uhuru's defence witnesses to subvert justice.
On Saturday, President Kenyatta attacking the court and Western powers at the AU summit.
"The ICC has been reduced into a painfully farcical pantomime, a travesty that adds insult to the injury of victims. It stopped being the home of justice the day it became the toy of declining imperial powers," Uhuru declared.
This week, Kenya, through its permanent representative at the UN, will file a motion with the Security Council seeking the deferral of the Kenyan cases.
Last week, Uhuru met with US ambassador Robert Godec at State House and the ICC is said to have featured in the talks.
The President has also sent an implicit warning to Europe over the ICC by delaying the accreditation of the new envoys for Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Hungary.
Deputy President William Ruto's trial continued yesterday in the Hague despite the AU resolution that sitting leaders should not be tried while still in office.