Hague 4 trial dates to be known this week

July 9, 2012 7:55 am
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The Trial Chamber last month announced that it would issue a ruling on the date a month after the Status Conferences that were held at The Hague-based court on June 11 and 12/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 9 – The four Kenyans facing crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) are set to know the dates of their trials by this Friday.

The Trial Chamber last month announced that it would issue a ruling on the date a month after the Status Conferences that were held at The Hague-based court on June 11 and 12.

At the conference, William Ruto, Joshua arap Sang and Uhuru Kenyatta told the Trial Chamber that they preferred the trials to begin in March next year.

The prosecution said it had not objections to the March request by the three defence teams.

However, Francis Muthaura’s defence counsel Karim Khan said he wanted the trials to start as early as September this year explaining that the health of his client was not good and also that he wanted to clear his name from the grave accusations made against him.

The victims’ legal representatives Sureta Chana and Morris Anyah also wanted the trials to begin at the earliest possible date to hasten giving justice for their clients.

Last Tuesday ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda indicated that she would bring three new aspects not included by the Pre Trial Chamber on the criminal liability of Kenyatta and Muthaura.

She said the new aspects will make it easier to prove Kenyatta and Muthaura are criminally responsible for the charges pressed against them hence increasing the chances of finding them guilty of the crimes they are accused of.

Bensouda told the Trial Judges that the Pre Trial Chamber had confirmed that the two “specifically directed the Mungiki to commit the crimes in Nakuru and Naivasha. Kenyatta gave directions and a mandate to an individual to coordinate the Mungiki for the purposes of the attack in Nakuru.” She argued that the acts could equally be categorized as ‘ordering, soliciting or inducing’.

The Ghanaian prosecutor further asserted that additional element of liability was evidenced by the confirmation that Muthaura and Kenyatta brokered a deal with Maina Njenga to place Mungiki at their disposal, fund Mungiki activities and offer institutional support which led her to the conclusion that those activities could be termed as aiding, abetting or assisting in commission of the crimes.

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