The International Criminal Court in The Hague has postponed the human rights crimes trial of Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta until February 2014. The trial was originally due to start on July 9 and then pushed back to Nov. 12.
Kenyatta is accused of being an "indirect co-perpetrator" in violence that followed elections in 2007. Some 1,100 people were killed and 600,000 fled their homes in that period.
The three judges presiding over the trial agreed to give the defense team more time to prepare for two new prosecution witnesses.
Prosecutors had told the judges they would not oppose a postponement because they could also use extra time to look into issues Kenyatta's defense attorneys have brought up.
Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto has also been called to the ICC to defend himself against human rights crimes charges stemming from the same period. His trial has already started.
Kenyatta has sought support for his efforts to put off or cancel his trial from other African states, arguing that the ICC as “a toy of declining imperial powers” that wants to strip another African leader of his dignity.
The African Union has asked the United Nations Security Council to put off the cases against Kenyatta and Ruto for a year, saying that the men are needed to lead the fight against terrorism in Kenya following the Al Shabaab attack on Westgate Mall in Nairobi.