News / Africa

Kenyan Government Loses Appeal to Halt ICC Trials

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The International Criminal Court, (ICC) is going forward with cases against six prominent Kenyans linked to deadly post-election violence in the country.

The appeals chamber ruled Tuesday that the cases are admissible, rejecting the Kenyan government's argument that they should be dropped.

The presiding judge, Daniel David Ntanda Nsereko, said in order for the cases to be considered inadmissible, there must be a national investigation underway against the same suspects for the same conduct in question.

The decision upheld an ICC ruling three months ago saying the Kenyan government had offered no proof that it is investigating or prosecuting the six suspects.

The six suspects include prominent politicians and businessmen accused of orchestrating post-election violence in Kenya in late 2007 and early 2008.

The Kenyan government initially agreed to cooperate with the ICC probe into the violence, but changed its position earlier this year.

About 1,300 people were killed in riots and ethnic violence triggered by Kenya's disputed 2007  presidential election.

Critics accused incumbent President Mwai Kibaki of stealing the election from Prime Minister Raila Odinga through fraud.  The two leaders later formed Kenya's current power-sharing government.

The suspects are being prosecuted in two cases.  Former education minister William Ruto, former industrialization minister Henry Kosgey and radio executive Joshua arap Sang are due to appear at the Hague for a hearing on Thursday.

The other suspects -- Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Cabinet secretary Francis Kirimi Muthaura, and former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali -- are scheduled to appear before ICC judges next month.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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