Nairobi, Kenya, Sep 28 – Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to take the stand in his own defense on Wednesday in the ongoing confirmation of charges hearings at the International Criminal Court.
The Finance Minister who has taken the unusual step of presenting himself as his own witness will be defending himself against accusations that he castigated the killings that swept the nation after the last elections.
This is the most eagerly awaited portions of the hearings that began last Wednesday.
The prosecution says that Kenyatta, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and Postmaster-General Hussein Ali bear the greatest responsibility for attacks in Naivasha where about 42 people were killed in retaliatory attacks in the last week of January 2008.
In one incident, 19 people including women and children were burnt alive after being cornered by suspected Mungiki youth.
Compared to other cases at the Hague based court, Kenya’s cases draw a lot of attention as media houses have been camping in Netherlands for about a month to relay live proceedings of the confirmation of charges hearings.
Public galleries at the court remain packed as family members of the suspects occupy a reserved bench to follow the proceedings.
The proceedings are expected to come to a close next Wednesday.
The ICC process involving powerful politicians – two of whom are presidential hopefuls – has elicited passionate debate in the country.
Their sympathisers believe the process is politically motivated whereas others think it is an avenue for offering justice to victims of the violence and claiming accountability from the engineers of the violence.
Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey, Eldoret North MP William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang will be the first three to know if their charges will be confirmed just a day before Christmas.