Kenyan president appearing before ICC

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is appearing before the International Criminal Court (ICC) where he faces charges of crimes against humanity.

Although not on trial, he is the first serving head of state to come before the court in The Hague. He is facing charges in connection with his role in the violence following the 2007 elections in which more than 1,000 people died.

He says the charges against him are politically motivated and insists that the case should be thrown out.

He was summoned to appear at the ICC “status conference” after the prosecution said it didn’t have enough evidence to go ahead with the trial and accused the Kenyan government of obstructing the investigation.

The prosecution has asked the court for an indefinite adjournment until the Kenyan government hands over what it says is vital evidence.

The defence denies withholding evidence and wants the case thrown out.

In September, the court postponed the trial after prosecutors said the Kenyan government had failed to deliver key documents.Witnesses for the prosecution have withdrawn from the case.

Deputy President William Ruto is acting president while Mr Kenyatta is at The Hague.

On Monday, the president again stressed his innocence, saying his conscience was clear.

In a speech to the Kenyan parliament, Mr Kenyatta said that he was going to The Hague in a personal capacity – not as president of the country – so as not to compromise the sovereignty of Kenyans.

No special arrangements have been made at the ICC. The main spokesperson for the court said that Mr Kenyatta would not be treated differently from any other accused person.

Credit: BBC