Uhuru Kenyatta trial: ICC delays start until October

Kenya's President Kenyatta in Nairobi on 12 December 2013 Uhuru Kenyatta maintains that the ICC has no case against him

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been postponed to October.

The delay was intended to give the the government more time to "provide certain records" to the prosecution, the ICC said in a statement.

Mr Kenyatta is charged with being behind the ethnic violence surrounding the presidential election in 2007.

He denies organising the clashes in which 1,200 people died.

Kenya's violent elections

Clashes in the Mathare slum in Nairobi in January 2008
  • Then-President Mwai Kibaki declared the winner of December 2007 elections - Raila Odinga cries foul
  • Opposition protests lead to clashes with police and degenerate into ethnic violence across the country
  • More than 1,000 killed and 600,000 flee homes
  • Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta was in the Kibaki camp; accused of orchestrating violence against ethnic groups seen as pro-Odinga
  • Incumbent Deputy President William Ruto was in the Odinga camp; accused of targeting pro-Kibaki communities
  • Power-sharing deal signed in April 2008 after mediation by ex-UN chief Kofi Annan
  • Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto form alliance and win March 2013 election
  • Mr Ruto's trial started in September; Mr Kenyatta's now due to start in October

This is the third time the trial has been postponed.

"The purpose of the adjournment is to provide the government of Kenya with a further, time-limited opportunity to provide certain records, which the prosecution had previously requested," the ICC said.

'False evidence'

In January, the prosecution was granted a three-month delay so that it could collect more evidence.

Mr Kenyatta - backed by the African Union (AU) - has pushed for the case to be dropped.

He accuses the ICC of being political, and undermining Kenya's sovereignty.

The ICC denies the allegation, saying it is trying to achieve justice for victims of the violence.

In December, the prosecution said it needed more time to carry out investigations following the loss of two key witnesses.

One witness had refused to testify and the other had given false evidence, it said.

Mr Kenyatta's deputy, William Ruto, is on trial on similar charges at the ICC.

He and Mr Ruto were on opposite sides of the 2007 election, but formed an alliance for the 2013 election that propelled them to power.

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