23 January 2014

Kenya: ICC Delays Kenyan President's Trial

Photo: Capital FM
The Attorney General Githu Muigai (file photo).

The International Criminal Court has delayed the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, acting on a request from prosecutors.

The Kenyan president is charged with five counts of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in orchestrating deadly ethnic violence after Kenya's 2007 elections.

His trial was due to begin February 5, but ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked for a postponement last month, saying she needs time to obtain more evidence.

Bensouda said then that she had lost two key witnesses in the case, and suggested prosecutors could not meet the high standard of evidence needed at trial.

Kenya and other African nations have pressured the ICC to drop the cases against Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto.

Ruto, who is currently on trial, is also accused of orchestrating the post-election violence that left more than 1,000 people dead.

The ICC has not set a new date for the Kenyatta trial.

Bensouda said last month that one of the key witnesses in Kenyatta's case has indicated he is no longer willing to testify. She said a second key witness recently confessed to giving false evidence regarding a critical event in the prosecution's case.

Human Rights Watch says the prosecutor's request was deeply disturbing for all those "who look to the ICC to provide justice where there has been none in Kenya."

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