Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Fatou Bensouda [official profile] said Thursday that Kenya must prove its ability to handle the case of President Uhuru Kenyatta [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] before the ICC will drop the case. Kenyatta and his deputy president William Ruto [JURIST news archive] are charged with crimes against humanity for their alleged involvement in inciting the violence that followed the 2007 election [JURIST news archive] and which led to more than 1,100 deaths. Ruto's trial has been recently postponed [JURIST report], and Kenyatta's trial is currently scheduled to begin in July. Bensouda said the ICC was always ready to engage in debate [Reuters report] regarding the Kenya proceedings.
This is the most recent in the ongoing controversy surrounding the trials of Kenyatta and Ruto. Last week African foreign ministers requested [JURIST report] that Kenyatta and Ruto by tried in Kenya instead of by the ICC after the Kenyan Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) [advocacy website] released a report [JURIST report] connecting Kenyatta and Ruto to the post-election violence. Earlier this month, Kenya's ambassador to the UN requested [JURIST report] that the charges against Kenyatta be dismissed. In April a judge overseeing Kenyatta's ICC case requested to be excused [JURIST report] from hearing the case. Even with charges for crimes against humanity pending against him, Kenyatta was able to win a controversial election [JURIST report] to the presidency in March. Kenyatta was sworn in as the country's fourth president following a ruling [JURIST report] from Kenya's Supreme Court that the election results were in fact valid.