Thursday, March 7, 2013

ICC issues new date for Uhuru, Muthaura cases

Uhuru Kenyatta and Francis Muthura at a past appearance at the International Criminal Court. PHOTO / FILE

Uhuru Kenyatta and Francis Muthura at a past appearance at the International Criminal Court. PHOTO / FILE 

By Nation Reporter

The International Criminal Court has postponed the trials of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former head of civil service to July 09, 2013.

The trial judges are however yet to decide on the trial dates for the William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang cases.

In a statement released on Thursday, the international court said trial judges had granted Mr Kenyatta's and Mr Muthaura's request to have the trials postponed from the initial April 10, 2013 date.

"Trial Chamber V of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to grant the Defence teams’ requests, to which the Prosecutor did not oppose, and to postpone the opening of the trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Francis Kirimi Muthaura and Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and set the new date provisionally for 9 July 2013," said the statement.

The court, in explaining the postponement of Mr Kenyatta's and Mr Muthaura's cases, said that the April date did not give them sufficient time to make a ruling on a request by the suspects to have their cases referred back to the Pre-Trial Chamber.

Thw two want the Judges to refer their cases back to the Pre-Trial Court after the critical Witness Four, a former Mungiki leader, withdrew his testimony.

This is the witness who said he was present at meetings in State House and the Nairobi Club where Mr Kenyatta and Mr Muthaura allegedly planned violence.

In a statement to the ICC, the witness said he lied about his presence in the two meetings.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said she has evidence of bribery that led Witness Four to withdraw his testimony.

"The Chamber considers that, in addition to Defence submissions related to delayed disclosure of information, the Defence teams’ applications requesting referral back to the Pre-Trial Chamber raise very serious issues that must be resolved before the trial can proceed and which may not be resolved before 11 April 2013, the date initially set for the opening of the trial," the court explained the decision to postpone the trials.

"The Defence teams in the case The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang also submitted requests to postpone the opening of the trial, currently scheduled to being on 10 April 2013. Trial Chamber V will issue its decision on these requests in due course," it added.

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