31 March 2014

Kenya: Uhuru's ICC Trial Now Set for October 7

Photo: Uhuru Kenyatta
Hague postpones President Uhuru Kenyatta's trial (file photo).

Nairobi — The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday set October 7, 2014 as the new trial date in the case against President Uhuru Kenyatta. According to the ICC judges, the trial was adjourned to give the Government of Kenya time to furnish the ICC Prosecutor with requested documents.

"The purpose of the adjournment is to provide the Government of Kenya with a further, time-limited opportunity to provide certain records, which the prosecution had previously requested on the basis that the records are relevant to a central allegation to the case," the ICC Public Affairs Unit said.

Trial Chamber V (b) directed the ICC prosecution and the Government of Kenya to work on their cooperation woes which has seen them blame each other over failed cooperation.

The ICC Prosecutor on December 19 last year told the court that she did not have evidence to sustain the trial against President Kenyatta and requested for more time to collect more evidence.

She also accused Kenya of frustrating her efforts to get important information she requires to use in the case against Kenyatta.

After the prosecution's argument, the judges directed the Government of Kenya provide Kenyatta's financial records and other information needed by the prosecution.

In so doing, it denied the prosecutor's request to suspend the trial indefinitely and also the defence's request to have all proceedings against Kenyatta stopped over lack of evidence.

"The chamber directed the prosecutor to submit, within two weeks, to the Kenyan authorities a revised request to produce financial and other records relating to Mr Kenyatta. The chamber also directed the prosecution and the Kenyan Government to engage in cooperation and consultations without delay in relation to the revised request," the ICC said.

The court has meanwhile scheduled for a status conference on July 9 for the prosecution and Kenya to update the court on the progress made so far regarding the orders on cooperation and submission of Kenyatta's financial records and other information needed by the court.

Kenyatta is the only accused person in Kenya case two after charges against former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali were dropped.

Muthaura's charges were dropped post-confirmation stage over lack of evidence and after the only key witness used to confirm his charges admitted that he had lied to the court.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda similarly said she had no evidence against Kenyatta after two witnesses withdrew, while others confessed they had given false statements.

Kenyatta's trial was scheduled to start on February 5, 2014 after being adjourned for lack of prosecution witnesses.

It was then suspended indefinitely after Bensouda said she had no evidence to commit Kenyatta to trial.

Kenyatta is accused of a 'joint common plan' to carry out attacks in Nakuru and Naivasha during the 2008-post election violence in Kenya.

He is charged with five counts of murder, deportation or forcible transfer, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts.

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