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International court scraps start of Kenyatta trial

Last Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 23:18

The Hague: The International Criminal Court on Thursday scrapped the start date for the trial of Kenya`s President on charges he orchestrated violence after his country`s 2007 elections.

The court announced it will instead hold a hearing on February 05 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.

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 today, judges revealed that Kenyatta`s defence 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 defence request were available. Judges ordered Kenyatta`s lawyers to file a public version by January 28. Kenyatta`s defence 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 organising 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.

First Published: Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 23:18
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