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Kenya president's trial postponed to October

ICC gives Kenya government more time to submit evidence on Uhuru Kenyatta, accused of ordering violence after 2007 poll.

Last updated: 01 Apr 2014 02:14
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The International Criminal Court has again postponed the trial of Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya's president, on charges that he orchestrated violence following the country's 2007 election.

The court on Monday rescheduled the start of the trial to October 7, saying the delay would give the Kenyan government more time to produce evidence requested by prosecutors.

"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," the court said in a statement.

Prosecutors accuse Kenyatta of having a hand in the wave of deadly violence that followed the 2007 elections, in which 1,200 people died.

They also allege that their witnesses against Kenyatta and William Ruto, his deputy on trial for similar charges, have been bribed or threatened into withdrawing their evidence.

Al Jazeera's Catherine Soi however said that 30 of the 77 witnesses had withdrawn.

'Not enough evidence'

Prosecutors said the government had not done enough to hand over evidence against the president and want access to Kenyatta's phone and banking records.

"The prosecutor's view is that there may be evidence that would serve to convict, but that it is found in various financial records that she says are in the possession of the government of Kenya," John Quigley, an international law professor at Ohio State University told Al Jazeera. 

Quigley said the case might not have enough evidence to go forward without the documents.

He also told Al Jazeera that little could be done if the Kenyan government refuses to produce the information.

"Kenya has a legal obligation ... to comply with requests from the court for assistance," Quigley said. "But there is no procedure under the court statute for enforcement in the event that Kenya doesn't."

Kenyatta, who was elected president last year, has co-operated with the court even as he has led a diplomatic push to have the case against him postponed or dropped entirely.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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