The International Criminal Court will hold hearings next month to set the trial date for four Kenyans accused of directing and financing post-election violence four years ago that killed 1,500 people.
The deliberations from June 11 to June 12 will also explore the safety of prosecution witnesses, whether to disclose their names and referrals to the ICC’s witness protection program, the Hague-based court said today in an e-mailed statement.
In the first case, the court has charged Former Higher Education Minister William Ruto, radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang, with ordering murders, deportations and persecution. In the second, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Francis Muthaura, the former head of the civil service, face the same accusations, as well as being indirect co-perpetrators of rape and other inhumane acts, according to the ICC’s website. All four men maintain their innocence.
Kenyatta and Ruto say they plan to run for the presidency in the next election, which the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission scheduled for March 4.
Kenya was wracked by two months of violence sparked by allegations of vote-rigging by supporters of then-opposition leader Raila Odinga, an ethnic Luo, following a Dec. 27, 2007 election.
The clashes subsided after incumbent President Mwai Kibaki, a member of the most populous Kikuyu tribe, signed a power- sharing accord with Odinga, who was named prime minister.
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