ICC rejects postponement of Kenyan President hearing
The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday rejected a request by Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, to postpone his appearance before the court on 8 October. The hearing aims to set a date for his trial.
Kenyatta is accused by the ICC of organising ethnic massacres that left 1 200 people dead after Kenya’s 2007 elections which the President denies.
He is supposed to either appear before the hearing in person or via video link and has insisted he must appear in person at the Hague.
It is not clear if Kenyatta will appear before the court on 8 October as his trial has already been delayed several times.
Last year, the African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia demanded a deferral of the trial which had been set for November 2013. The AU also agreed on a resolution stating no sitting African head of state should appear before an international court.
Kenyatta and Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir - who is also facing charges at the ICC, joined other African leaders who have long complained that the international court unfairly targets them.
During that same summit, the AU discussed withdrawing from the ICC, but failed to get enough support.
Kenyatta's latest excuse is that on 8 October he has other commitments in Uganda and his lawyers suggested that the hearing be postponed or that arrangements be made for him to appear via video link.
However, the ICC rejected the request, saying that the matters to be discussed were at a critical stage and directly involve the interest of the accused and victims.
"The chamber, by majority, finds that the requirements of justice in this case necessitate the physical presence of the accused in court," the ICC said in a statement.
Kenyatta's lawyers have repeatedly said the whole case should be dropped because of a lack of evidence.
In 2007, Kenyatta was a close ally of then Kenyan President, Mwai Kibaki, who was declared the winner in that year's election despite claims of fraud from his rival Raila Odinga. The election disputes soon turned violent, with targeted killings along ethnic lines, pitting members of the Kikuyu ethnic group where Kenyatta and Kibaki belongs against other communities.
Kenyatta is accused of organising an ethnic Kikuyu gang, the Mungiki sect, to attack the other rival groups.
His Vice-President, William Ruto, faces similar charges, although he was on the Odinga side during the violence.
Photo caption: HOPING FOR A NO-SHOW... Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta.
The members of African Drumbeat attended the...
Jet Club in partnership with Educor launched...
Ah, salt. We love its taste and yearn to use it liberally in our...
The New Year has begun and for many this is a time to...
A 33-year-old woman is expected in court on Monday after she was arrested by Butterworth police for dealing in dagga. "The suspect was arrested on Friday, at about 03:00am, at Skiet Informal Settlement, Butterworth," described police...
Eastern Cape police on Friday appealed to the public for...
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has instructed Eskom...
The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Eastern...
Once again Kouga Local Municipality has been packed with...
The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) is the entity...
- Visiting elderly American couple rescued after hijacking in Uitenhage
- Do I really need a Will?
- Teen among suspects arrested for kidnapping woman outside Peddie court and later killing her
- Man handed lengthy jail sentence for mystery 2016 murder
- Two men in custody for house robberies in East London - more arrests expected