27 February 2013

Kenya: August ICC Date Good for Nation

Photo: Bas Czerwinski/ICC-CPI/AP/
International Criminal Court has pushed the trial dates of Uhuru Kenyatta and Francis Muthaura to July 9th (file photo).


ICC Chief Prosecutor has agreed to the defense request to postpone the Kenya trials.

Fatou Bensouda yesterday said the trials could start on schedule, if the court wanted, but suggested they should now start in August so that full witness evidence could be released to the defense.

This postponement is the result of extended legal sparring between the prosecution and the defense.

Nevertheless the new date is convenient for all concerned. Previously the likely election run-off on April 11 would have coincided with the start of the trials of Jubilee contenders Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.

Uhuru and Ruto would have been in The Hague for the second round. This might have appeared anti-democratic and could have destabilised the country.

Now Uhuru and Ruto can contest both the first and second rounds without being under the time pressure of The Hague.

Their trials are still unavoidable. The Rome Statute specifies that sitting presidents are not exempt from prosecution. Bensouda insists her cases are still strong.

The onus will be on Uhuru and Ruto to travel to the Hague to prove their innocence, whether or not they are president and deputy president. But we are definitely better off with an August date.

Quote of the day: "The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun." - American campaigner Ralph Nader was born on February 27, 1934

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