International prosecutors request further delay in start of Kenyan president's trial



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President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, listens during the AU Summit, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in Nairobi, Kenya. A one-day African Union Peace and Security Summit started in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)


THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court on Friday requested another delay in starting the trial of Kenya's president on charges of involvement in deadly post-election violence, saying they still lack sufficient evidence to convict him.

Prosecutors said they want the Oct. 7 start date pushed back until Kenyan authorities have fully complied with a request made in April to turn over information that could be used as evidence. That information includes records relating to President Uhuru Kenyatta's finances.

Fatou Bensouda, the court's chief prosecutor, said that it would be inappropriate to drop all charges against Kenyatta as his government is not fully cooperating with the court, adding that "the accused person in this case is the head of a government that has so far failed fully to comply with its obligations to the Court."

The situation underscores a key limitation of the international court, which has no police force and must rely on help from governments in countries where it is investigating crimes — sometimes allegedly committed by government forces.

Kenyatta is charged as an "indirect co-perpetrator" for crimes including murder, rape and persecution allegedly committed by others during violence that left more than 1,000 people dead after his country's 2007 elections. He denies the allegations.

His trial originally was scheduled to start Feb. 5, but was postponed until October while prosecutors attempted to shore up their case.

Kenyatta's lawyers have repeatedly called on judges to scrap the case for lack of evidence.

The case already has suffered repeated setbacks, with a key prosecution witnesses refusing to testify and another admitting giving false evidence. Charges against two other Kenyans originally charged alongside Kenyatta have been dropped.

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