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ICC prosecutor agrees to delay trial of 4 Kenyans

International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda [official profile] on Tuesday agreed to delay the trial of four Kenyans accused of committing crimes against humanity. Kenyan presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta [case materials], who is one of the four men charged, asked the ICC earlier this month to postpone his trial [JURIST report]. Kenyatta, a former finance minister, argued that his defense team needed more time [VOA report] to respond to evidence revealed to them at the last minute leading up to the trial. The charges against Kenyatta and the other men arise from involvement in the violence following the disputed elections in December 2007 in which 1,200 people were killed and thousands more displaced. The trials, which were set to begin in April, could be postponed until after the court's summer recess in August. The delay must first be approved by ICC judges.

Earlier this month Kenyatta and his co-defendant, former civil service chief Francis Muthaura [case materials], asked [JURIST report] the ICC to review the decision to move forward with the trial. The two Kenyans had announced [JURIST report] in December that, despite their upcoming trials, they would be running together in the next presidential election, scheduled to take place in March. In October the ICC called for complete cooperation [JURIST report] from the Kenyan government in the investigation and trial process. In June the ICC expressed its desire to start the two Kenyan trials simultaneously [JURIST report] to avoid any appearance of bias in the March 2013 presidential election.

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