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AU: ICC cannot prosecute sitting head of state

Saturday - 10/12/2013, 12:10pm  ET

TOM ODULA
Associated Press

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) -- The chairman of the African Union says the continental body will not allow a sitting head of state to be prosecuted by an international tribunal -- a clear reference to the trial that is about to begin at the International Criminal Court against Kenya's leader Uhuru Kenyatta, who is accused of crimes against humanity.

Chairman Hailemariam Desalegn said at the close of the summit Saturday that the AU had taken the decision during a heads of state meeting. He said: "We have agreed no charge shall be commenced, or continued, before any international court or tribunal against any serving head of state or government or anybody acting. ... during his or her term in office."

The AU's resolution comes as the ICC prosecutor on Saturday revealed new evidence against Kenyatta.


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