Kenyans watch on December 15, 2010 on television in a Nairobi store International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo publicly name six Kenyans suspected of masterminding the 2007-8 post-election violence that claimed 1,500 lives. Those named include Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, sacked education minister William Ruto -- a declared candidate for the 2012 presidential election -- and former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali.
Credit: Simon Maina

Kenya's Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said he and other judges have been threatened with "dire consequences" if courts bar presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta from running in the country's upcoming elections.

According to BBC News, Mutunga said he had received a "poison-pen letter" from a group "extolling" violence.

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The president of the Supreme Court said the threats, as well as attacks against five other judges — some involving guns — would not be tolerated, reported Al Jazeera.

"Let no individual, group, candidate or supporter imagine that cowardly and dark acts such as these will cower us," said Mutunga. "We have seen and overcome worse, and we will all soldier on for this country. None will be held hostage by a cabal of retrogrades."

Presidential candidate Kenyatta, who is at the center of the turmoil, is a former finance minister and the son of the country's founding president, according to Reuters. He is also one of four Kenyans accused at the International Criminal Court of orchestrating violence that killed 1,200 people after the last election in 2007.

BBC News noted that Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto will be tried at The Hague about a month after the March 4 election.

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