ICC ultimatum over Kenyatta’s trial

Uhuru KenyattaThe International Criminal Court (ICC) has given prosecutors a one-week deadline to bring evidence against Kenya’s president or to drop charges.

Further delays in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s case would be “contrary to the interests of justice”, it ruled.

Mr Kenyatta was the first head of state to appear before the court since he was formally charged in 2012 with crimes against humanity, which he denies.

The prosecution has repeatedly asked for more time to build its case.

It says witnesses have been bribed and intimidated, and the Kenyan government has refused to hand over documents vital to the case.

Mr Kenyatta denies inciting violence following the disputed 2007 elections in order to secure victory for then-President Mwai Kibaki and says the ICC case is political.

Rejecting the prosecution’s latest request for a delay, the court’s judges said it needed to indicate within a week whether it would withdraw charges or that the “evidentiary basis has improved to a degree which would justify proceeding to trial”.

Mr Kenyatta won presidential elections in 2013, with the backing of Mr Kibaki.

He used the case against him to rally nationalist support by accusing The Hague-based court of meddling in Kenya’s affairs.

He is accused by the ICC prosecution of being “an indirect co-perpetrator” in the post-poll ethnic massacres of 2007/2008.

Some 1,200 people were killed in the violence and 600,000 were displaced. — BBC


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