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Kenya post-election violence suspect asks ICC to review trial decision

Lawyers for Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta [case material] on Wednesday filed a motion in the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] asking for a review of the court's decision to proceed with the trial against Kenyatta. The defense claimed that the prosecution's evidence is fraudulent [AP report], especially given that one of the key witnesses who testified against Kenyatta abandoned his position. Counsel for Kenyatta requested that the court reassess whether the prosecution in fact has sufficient evidence for the prosecution. The prosecution did not comment on the recently filed motion. Kenyatta has been charged for crimes against humanity arising out of the 2007 post-election violence [JURIST news archive] in which more than 1,000 people died. His trial has been set [JURIST report] to begin on April 11 along with former civil service chief Francis Muthaura [case material].

The two Kenyans had announced [JURIST report] in December that, despite their upcoming trials, they will be running together in the next presidential election, scheduled to take place next month. Concern surrounding the trial has been growing as the trial and election draw closer. 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. William Ruto [case material], who also faces charges for crimes arising out of the 2007 post-election violence, is considered a leading candidate in the election which will take place March 4. In May the appeals chamber of the ICC rejected [JURIST report] the jurisdiction challenges in the cases, clearing the way for trial. The defense lawyers had argued that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over them. The appeal stemmed from the pre-trial chamber's decision to confirm the charges [JURIST report] against the four men in January. The ICC claimed jurisdiction over the case despite Kenya's calls for dismissal [JURIST report]. The Kenyan government argued that it was capable of prosecuting the accused men domestically.

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