News / Africa

ICC Delays Trial of Kenyan President Until November

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, April 16, 2013.
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, April 16, 2013.
Selah Hennessy
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has delayed the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta until November.  The president is facing charges of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in Kenya's 2008 post-election violence. 

The International Criminal Court, or ICC, said the delay is aimed at giving Kenyatta's defense enough time to prepare for his trial.

Michael Jennings from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London said the news did not come as a surprise. 

“In part this reflects the complexity of the case," he said.  "The prosecution has perhaps taken longer to submit all the evidence they need to submit.  And of course the defense needs to have time to go through that and figure out what the defense will be.”

Kenyatta is charged with crimes against humanity, including rape and murder.  The prosecution says he orchestrated ethnic violence after the disputed 2007 presidential election in which more than 1,100 people died.

Kenyatta, who was elected Kenya's president in March, denies the allegations. 

His deputy president, William Ruto, is facing similar charges and is set to go on trial in September.

Jennings said the cases are complex.  “I think it is only to be expected, in cases where you are dealing with very senior officials and very senior politicians, where evidence is always going to be difficult to conclusively show that someone did or did not give an order - that these things take time,” he said.

Adjoa Anyimadu is an expert on Kenya at the London-based research group Chatham House.  She predicted the delay would get a mixed reaction in Kenya.  She said initially the ICC case was welcomed by the Kenyan parliament but a shift has taken place.

She said for the past year, Kenya has been on a diplomatic mission to galvanize support among other African leaders for the ICC case to be dropped.

“This has generated a general feeling that the ICC is targeting Africans, is trying to undermine Kenya's democracy and so on.  And this narrative has actually had quite a lot of support within Kenya,” said Anyimadu.

The trial also poses another problem for the international community, she said.  With the trial now delayed until November 12, foreign powers have to carefully navigate their relationship with the Kenyan leader.

“They do no not want to be seen to undermining the ICC and seen to be courting Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.  But they also do not want to be seen to be trying to undermine Kenya's legitimate democracy,” said Anyimadu.

The ICC brought charges against four Kenyans in January 2012.  In March the court dropped the charges against one of the four, Francis Muthaura.  Anyimadu says with Kenyatta’s trial now delayed, many will be wondering about the strength of the prosecution’s case.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More