Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

‘Non-cooperative’ Kenyatta delays ICC trial again

The International Criminal Court (ICC) said, on Friday, that it had issued Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta with a subpoena to appear before the tribunal over charges that his government has withheld documents requested by prosecutors preparing his trial for crimes committed against humanity.

Kenyatta, who faces five counts at the ICC over his alleged role in masterminding election-related violence in 2007-2008, was ordered to appear on October 8 2014, it was released in a statement by the Hague-based.

This would mark the first time Kenyatta has appeared in court, as he has repeatedly contended that he needs to remain in Kenya to fight militants from the Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab group, and manage state affairs.

The ICC said discussions with Kenyatta, and another hearing a day earlier with a Nairobi representative, would focus on “the status of cooperation between the prosecution and the Kenyan government, and issues raised in the prosecution’s notice of September 5 2014”.

“A representative of the Kenyan government is invited to attend the first status conference and President Kenyatta is required to be present at the second status conference,” it said.

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked judges to postpone the trial indefinitely, blaming Kenyan authorities for blocking access to key evidence that could show Kenyatta had financed the post-election ethnic violence in which 1 200 people were killed and 600 000 others were displaced.

Without those documents, she said, there was insufficient grounds to prosecute the powerful East African leader, prompting his lawyers again to call for the case to be dropped.

Nairobi has rejected claims it has stonewalled the ICC in refusing to hand over the documents, which include company records, bank statements, records of land transfers, tax returns, phone records and foreign exchange records.

The ICC also formally postponed the latest opening date, in October due to Kenyatta’s repeatedly delayed trial.

The trial of rival-turned-partner, Kenyan Vice President William Ruto, who faces similar charges–opened in the Hague in September 2013.

The lawyers who represented the victims of the 2007-2008 election-related violence have lambasted Nairobi authorities for a “deliberate policy of obstruction”, while Amnesty International has highlighted the desperation of victims who were wounded and lost property during the unrest.

The events shattered Kenya’s image as a beacon of stability for the region in late 2007 when then opposition chief Raila Odinga accused then President Mwai Kibaki of rigging his way to re-election.

What began as political riots quickly turned into ethnic killings of Kenyatta’s Kikuyu tribe who, in turn, launched reprisal attacks, plunging Kenya into its worst wave of unrest since independence in 1963.–Sapa-AFP

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Sapa Afp
Guest Author

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

‘The children cannot cope any more’: Suicide in Calvinia highlights...

How Covid-19 has intensified the physical and emotional burdens placed on children’s shoulders.

Capitec Bank flies high above Viceroy’s arrow

The bank took a knock after being labelled a loan shark by the short seller, but this has not stymied its growth

More top stories

Covid-19: No vaccine booster shots needed yet

Scientists agree it is important to get most of the population vaccinated before giving booster jabs

The convenient myth of an Africa spared from Covid-19

There are few, if any, studies to support Pfizer chief executive’s assertion that the global south would be more vaccine-hesitant than the north

Council wants Hawks, SIU probe into BAT’s Zimbabwe scandal

The cigarette maker has been accused of giving up to $500 000 in bribes and spying on competitors

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…