Kenya’s Deputy PM Faces ICC on Post-Election Violence

Posted September 21st, 2011 at 9:30 am (UTC-5)
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The International Criminal Court has opened proceedings against three prominent Kenyans accused of organizing deadly post-election violence in their country.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura and former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali are facing charges of crimes against humanity stemming from the unrest.

Judges at The Hague must decide if there is enough evidence against the three to take them to trial.

Kenyatta, the highest-ranking of the three, was present for Wednesday's hearing.

Prosecutors say the deputy prime minister and cabinet secretary indirectly orchestrated violence that swept Kenya after a disputed presidential poll in late 2007. They are accused of crimes including murder, forcible transfer of population, rape, persecution and other inhuman acts.

The former police chief is accused of contributing to the crimes.

The post-election violence killed about 1,300 people and displaced more than 300,000 others.

The ICC opened similar hearing earlier this month against three other prominent Kenyans. Former education minister William Ruto, former industrialization minister Henry Kosgey and radio executive Joshua Arap Sang are also accused of crimes against humanity stemming from the post-election unrest.

Critics accused incumbent President Mwai Kibaki of stealing the 2007 election from Prime Minister Raila Odinga through fraud. The two leaders later agreed to form Kenya's current power-sharing government.