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Kenyatta's War-Crimes Trial Now Set for 2014

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives to attend Mashujaa (Heroes) Day at the Nyayo National Stadium in capital Nairobi, Oct. 20, 2013.
The International Criminal Court has postponed the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta for three months, after hearing that prosecutors would not oppose a delay.

The Kenyan leader's trial at the ICC had been due to begin November 12, but that has now been put off until February 5.

A statement from the court in The Hague on Thursday noted noted that both prosecution and defense had agreed to delay the proceedings.

The ICC said prosecutors accepted that "certain factual matters raised by the defense merited further investigation," and that more time would be needed to prepare witness testimony and other evidence.

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said a later date would give witnesses more time to prepare and make travel arrangements.

The Kenyan president and his deputy, William Ruto, face charges of crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in 2007 post-election violence that killed more than 1,100 people in the East African nation.

Ruto's trial is already under way at The Hague. The court previously has said that Kenyatta will not have to attend all sessions of his trial, so he can focus on his presidential duties.

Earlier this month, the Kenyan government said it would ask the U.N. Security Council to delay both trials. Ambassador Macharia Kamau, said both men need to focus on the country's security threats in the wake of a terrorist attack on a Nairobi shopping mall that killed at least 67 people last month.

The Security Council lacks the power to cancel ICC trials but can suspend them for renewable 12-month periods.

Amnesty International urged the Security Council to turn down the request for delays, due to the "horrific" nature of the crimes that took place during and after Kenya's national elections six years ago.