Kenyan deputy president seeks Hague trial delay

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 26, 2013 12:39 PM
Kenyan deputy president seeks Hague trial delay

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Kenyan deputy president William Ruto has asked for the start of his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to be delayed to allow his legal team more time to prepare, his lawyer said on Friday.

Judges have yet to rule on the request, but previously they have granted delays in other trials relating to post-election violence in Kenya just over five years ago.

Ruto stands accused of orchestrating the violence, alongside Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Ruto's trial had been due to begin on May 28, but his lawyers say that late disclosure of potentially exculpatory evidence by the prosecutor had made it impossible for them to prepare his defense in time.

"In order to provide Ruto with time it's necessary to put this case back," David Hooper, a lawyer on Ruto's defense team, said.

"There's still one witness we don't know the name of, and they are asking for five more to be added. All this should have been sorted out a year ago."

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Prosecutors dropped charges against civil servant Francis Muthaura earlier this year, saying authorities were obstructing their investigations and that key witnesses had been threatened into silence.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; editing by Michael Roddy)