The International Criminal Court on Monday postponed Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s repeatedly-delayed trial over post-election violence to October, saying it was giving Kenya more time to look for documents wanted by prosecutors.
“Today the Trial Chamber adjourned the case against Uhuru Kenyatta until October 7,” the Hague-based ICC said in a statement.
The east African country is given “a further time-limited opportunity to provide certain records which the prosecution previously requested on the basis that the records are relevant to a central allegation to the case,” the ICC said.
Kenya’s lawyers last month slapped down accusations that it was not cooperating with the world’s war crimes court, where Kenyatta, 52, faces crimes against humanity charges for his alleged role in masterminding post-poll violence in 2007-08.
Prosecutors say more than 1,100 people died and hundreds-of-thousands of others were displaced in the country’s Rift Valley and elsewhere in clashes between pro-ruling and opposition party supporters.
But ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda late last year asked for a three-month postponement after admitting she no longer had enough evidence to put Kenyatta on trial.
Prosecutors then told judges in an apparent final push to bring the powerful African leader to trial that they needed Kenyatta’s financial statements.
The statements, they said, could either prove or disprove Kenyatta’s involvement in funding post-poll violence, the worst since Kenyan independence in 1963.
Kenyatta’s trial and that of his rival-turned-partner, Kenyan Vice President William Ruto, who faces similar charges, have been dogged by problems and delays.
These include accusations of witness intimidation and witness withdrawals, false testimony from other witnesses, and Kenya’s international campaign to have the trials put on hold.
African leaders frequently complain that the ICC discriminates against their continent. Kenyatta has lobbied intensively to muster support against the tribunal.
Arguments include allegations that the court is targeting Africans and that Kenya’s leaders need to be available to tackle al-Qaida-linked militants who have turned neighboring Somalia into a major global jihadist hub.
Both Kenyatta and Ruto have maintained their innocence.
SourceAgence France Presse