Kenyan politicians in Hague court over killings

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Three Kenyans appeared before the International Criminal Court yesterday, denying they had any connection with unrest in which 1,200 people were killed after disputed elections in 2007.

Suspended government ministers William Ruto and Henry Kosgey and radio executive Joshua Arap Sang attended the court to hear charges of crimes against humanity, including murder, forcible transfer and persecution.

"We have absolutely no reason to be here. We are innocent people," Mr Ruto told reporters, after singing the Kenyan national anthem outside the court.

The ICC has summonsed six top political, government and business officials to appear in court over two days this week in connection with the 2007-08 violence between the Orange Democratic Movement and the Party of National Unity. The bloodshed badly damaged Kenya's reputation for stability in a turbulent region.

In the second of the two cases Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo is presenting to the world's first permanent war crimes court, Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former police chief Hussein Ali are due to appear today to hear charges of murder, forcible transfer, rape and persecution.