The Star (Nairobi)

14 February 2013

Kenya: ICC Pre-Trial Hearing Begins

The ICC status conference for presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta and former head of civil service Francis Muthaura has began.

The status conference for William Ruto and Joshua Sang will be held this afternoon.

Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto opted to attend the pre-trial hearing through video-link instead of traveling to The Hague in order to allow for them to campaign for Kenyatta's presidency bid and the Jubilee coalition.

Their co-accused Francis Muthaura and Joshua Sang are already at The Hague having traveled for the status conference last week.

The location of Uhuru and Ruto's video conference remains a secret for security reasons. Outreach coordinator Maria Kamara said the venue had been agreed accord by the court and the Kenyan authorities.

The four are accused of fueling the violence that rocked Kenya after the 2007 General Elections.Two of the suspects Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are running together on a presidential ticket in the March 4 elections.

The trials are expected to begin in April. In the event that there is no outright winner in the March 4 poll, Kenya is set to hold a runoff on the 11th of April at the same time as the trial.

Last week Uhuru Kenyatta had applied to have the start of his case pushed forward to give room for his participation in the run-off. Presiding Judge Kuniko Ozaki has said the issue of the trial date will be decided by the pre trial chamber after reviewing submissions f

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