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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

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