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ICC delays Kenyan president's trial

31 October 2013, 21:29

The Hague - The International Criminal Court on Thursday postponed Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's trial on charges of crimes against humanity trial by three month to February next year.

Kenyatta is accused of masterminding some of the 2007-8 post-election violence in Kenya that left over 1 000 people dead and several hundred thousand displaced.

The Hague-based tribunal said in a statement it "decided to postpone the trial's commencement in the case against Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta to 5 February 2014".

The decision came after Kenyatta's lawyers asked for a delay to his trial, which had been due to start on 12 November after already being repeatedly delayed, and the prosecution said they had no objection.

His lawyers last week asked for the trial to be postponed, citing the "national and international crisis" triggered by last month's deadly siege at Nairobi's Westgate shopping centre.

Prosecutors then said that while they did not accept that Kenyatta's "presidential duties are a reason to delay the trial," they would also like a delay in order to be able to present witnesses in the order they want.

The court "expressed its deep regret that repeated adjournments of the trial have been necessary because one or both parties have required more time to prepare," the statement said.

Both parties should "accelerate their preparation in order to ensure that no further postponements are required," it added.

Kenyatta took office in April this year.



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