ICC indictee Kenyatta sworn in as fourth president of Kenya

[JURIST] Uhuru Kenyatta [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was sworn in as the fourth president of Kenya Tuesday. Kenyatta, who is the son of Kenya's first president Jomo Kenyatta [official profile], was elected [JURIST report] in a closely contested race with 50.07 percent of the vote. Kenyatta is currently facing International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] charges of crimes against humanity for his alleged involvement in violence following the 2007 election [JURIST news archive]. Unlike the 2007 election where allegations of fraud [JURIST report] led to more than a thousand deaths in ethnic clashes following the election, this election cycle was relatively calm.

Kenyatta's election has been surrounded by controversy. In March Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga [Al Jazeera profile] appealed the results [JURIST report] of Kenya's 2013 election [JURIST report] to Kenya's Supreme Court [official website]. Later that month Kenya's Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] that the results of the country's presidential election were valid. Earlier in March Kenyatta's lawyer asked the ICC to drop the charges [JURIST report] against him for lack of evidence, but the prosecution refused. Kenyatta's request was based on the ICC's withdrawal [decision, PDF] of charges against co-defendant Francis Muthaura for lack of evidence. Kenyatta's lawyers claimed the evidence against Muthaura and Kenyatta was the same, but the prosecution disagreed. Kenyatta's trial was previously postponed [JURIST report], and it will begin on July 9.

 

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