News / Africa

Lawyers for Kenya's Kenyatta to Urge ICC to Drop Case

VOA News
Lawyers for Kenya's president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta are calling on the International Criminal Court to drop crimes against humanity charges against him.

Judges at The Hague hold a pre-trial hearing Monday to determine whether to dismiss the charges after the case against Kenyatta's co-accused, Francis Muthaura, collapsed.

Defense lawyers will argue that a statement by a key prosecution witness, who recanted his testimony, is at the heart of the case.

Kenyatta and Muthaura were among four Kenyans charged for allegedly orchestrating deadly violence that followed the country's disputed 2007 presidential election. Both were charged as indirect co-perpetrators of crimes against humanity that include murder, displacement, and rape. They have denied any wrongdoing.

Others facing trial at the ICC include Kenyatta's running mate, William Ruto, and radio executive Joshua arap Sang.

The ICC charges became a major issue during Kenyatta's campaign for the presidency.  

He won the March 4 election with a slim majority of the vote. Runner-up Raila Odinga is challenging the results in the courts, alleging fraud during the vote-counting process.
 
Some Western nations have said they will have to limit their contact with the president-elect if he takes office.

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