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ICC approves delay of trial for Kenya presidential candidate

The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website; JURIST backgrounder] on Thursday agreed to delay [order, PDF; press release] the trial of Kenyan presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta and his co-defendant Francis Muthaura [case materials] until July 9. The two men are currently facing charges of crimes against humanity. Kenyatta is currently leading [AP report] the vote count in Kenya's presidential election, which took place on Monday. ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda [official profile] agreed to delay [JURIST report] the trial last month after Kenyatta's defense team argued that they needed more time to respond to evidence revealed to them at the last minute leading up to the trial. The charges against Kenyatta arise from involvement in the violence following the disputed elections in December 2007 in which 1,200 people were killed and thousands more displaced.

Last month Kenyatta and his co-defendant, former civil service chief Francis Muthaura, 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. Also facing trial are journalist Joshua Arap Sang [case materials] and former cabinet minister William Ruto [case materials]. 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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