[QODLink]
Europe

ICC delays start of Kenya president's trial

Prosecutors say they want a three-month delay to build a stronger case against Uhuru Kenyatta.

Last updated: 23 Jan 2014 19:53
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Uhuru Kenyatta insists he is innocent of all the charges against him [Reuters]

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has scrapped a planned February 5 start date for the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta after prosecutors asked for more time to strengthen their case.

The court announced on Thursday that it would instead hold a hearing on February 5 - the day President Uhuru Kenyatta's trial was to have started - into prosecutors' request for a three-month adjournment in the case, and a request by the president to have the case thrown out altogether.

Having carefully considered my evidence and the impact of the two withdrawals, I have come to the conclusion that currently the case against Mr. Kenyatta does not satisfy the high evidentiary standards required at trial.

Fatou Bensouda,  ICC Prosecutor.

The delay is the latest setback in the case against Kenyatta, who insists he is innocent of all charges against him.

Prosecutors asked for a delay in the case in December after one witness pulled out and another admitted giving false evidence.

At the time, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she needed time to reconsider her case.

"Having carefully considered my evidence and the impact of the two withdrawals, I have come to the conclusion that currently the case against Mr. Kenyatta does not satisfy the high evidentiary standards required at trial," she said.

In a decision issued on Thursday, judges revealed that Kenyatta's defense team filed a confidential request on January 13 for the court to "terminate the proceedings ... on the grounds of insufficiency of evidence."

No further details of the defense request were available. Judges ordered Kenyatta's lawyers to file a public version by January 28. Kenyatta's defense team last year also asked for the case to be thrown out.

Kenyatta denies charges of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, forcible population transfer and persecution, for his alleged role organizing violence after Kenya's 2007 elections that left more than 1,000 people dead by early 2008.

Kenya's deputy president, William Ruto, already is on trial at the ICC on similar charges. He has pleaded innocent.

African countries accuse the ICC of disproportionately targeting African leaders. The court has indicted only Africans since it was established in 2002, although half of the eight cases it is prosecuting were referred to it by African governments.

372

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
join our mailing list