ICC to Decide Monday on Trial for Top Kenyan Officials

Posted January 20th, 2012 at 6:05 am (UTC-5)
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The International Criminal Court says it will decide on Monday whether six prominent Kenyans will go on trial for crimes against humanity.

The Hague-based court said Friday that it will hold a public hearing to announce whether there is enough evidence to try any or all of the men.

The six suspects, which include current and former government officials and business leaders, are accused of orchestrating violence following disputed 2007 presidential elections.

More than 300,000 people were displaced and some 1,300 others were killed during the unrest.

Violence broke out after 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 fragile power-sharing government.

The court's decision will have far-reaching political consequences. Three of the suspects are aligned with President Kibaki's Party of National Unity. The other three supported the opposition Orange Democratic Movement of Prime Minister Odinga.

Meanwhile, two of the six suspects – Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former agriculture minister William Ruto – plan to run in the country's upcoming elections.

Prime Minister Odinga has also declared that he will run for president in the elections, which are tentatively scheduled for March 2013.

Some fear that violence could break out if either side feels the court's decision is unfair or has failed to bring justice to those responsible.