Four Kenyans accused of masterminding the 2008 post-election violence will start their trial at The Hague a month after the next polls.
However, two of the accused who are preparing to contest in the elections may have to skip the run-off which may fall during the period.
This is because they will be required to be present in person once the cases start.
The International Criminal Court Monday evening announced that the trial in the case against Eldoret North MP William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua Sang will kick off on April 10, 2013.
The case against Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former head of civil service Francis Muthaura will start the day after.
The decision by the judges falls in favour of Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda who said that her prosecution would only be ready to proceed with the case after March.
Mr Ruto, Mr Kenyatta and Mr Sang also asked for a date after the elections with only Mr Muthaura asking for an earlier date.
According to the schedules released on Monday, the four suspects will have to wait until march to know the identity of witnesses who are not under ICC protection.
However, by February, the prosecution has been ordered to have disclosed the identity of the witnesses under the court’s protection.
“The prosecution is to provide its witness list, which should include a bullet-pointed summary of the main facts on which each witness is expected to testify, an indication of the estimated length of time required for each witness and the total time for the presentation of the prosecution case, in hours. The prosecution is also to file its list of evidence to be relied on at trial. Both the witness list and the list of evidence are to be submitted by 9 January 2013,” the judges said in their order.
The judges have also asked the prosecution and the defence to make a joint filing on non-contentious issues where there is an agreement by September.
The prosecution has been instructed to disclosure to the defence of all incriminatory material in the form of witness statements and any other material to be relied on at trial by January 9, 2013.
On the same day the prosecution is required to file the pre-trial brief explaining its case with reference to the evidence it intends to rely on at trial.
“The pre-trial brief should contain, for each count, a summary of the relevant evidence of each witness to be relied on at trial and all other evidence upon which the prosecution intends to rely, and shall dearly explain how the evidence relates to the charges,” the judges said.
The prosecution has been asked to file a provisional list of witnesses to be relied on at trial and list of evidence only to be accessed by the judges and the Victims and Witnesses Unit by mid-October.
This list will include a bullet-pointed summary of the main facts on which each witness is expected to testify.
“Additionally, the prosecution should indicate the estimated length of time required for each witness and the total time for the presentation of the prosecution case, in hours. The prosecution is also to provide a provisional list of the material it intends to rely on at trial,” the judges said.
The prosecution has also been asked to disclose the reports of any expert witness who will be called during the case mid-February.
Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara has cast doubt on the possibility of two International Criminal Court accused to contest the Kenyan presidency.
Mr Imanyara said Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto fall short of the demands of Chapter Six of the Constitution on Leadership and Integrity.
Although he noted there was no legal bar that would prevent them from pursuing and assuming public office, he said the Constitution was broader on the credentials that a leader must possess.
“Public officers must demonstrate respect for the people of Kenya, bring honour to the nation and dignity to the office and promote public confidence in the integrity of the office," said quoting a section of Chapter Six Friday when he presided over the launch of a book 'Prosecuting Justice for Victims of Post-Election Violence: Why The Hague Option' at the Stanley Hotel, Nairobi.
Mr Imanyara alluded to the crimes that Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are charged with at the ICC when he said “that include murders and rapes against Kenyans were not in tandem with inspiring confidence in the public office or did they bring honour to the public office".
“You need not to be facing a criminal offence to be barred from leadership. The demands of the Constitution and the value of Chapter Six specifically goes further and broader than that,” Mr Imanyara said.
"But the final court of justice is the people of Kenya."
The book has been written by the International Centre for Policy and Conflict and advocates holding perpetrators of human rights violations accountable.
“I fully dispute arguments that insist that political leaders should strive only to have skewed truth about the post-election violence and justice. This amounts to political amnesty,” Executive Director Ndung’u Wainaina.
“It is a grave mistake for the human rights movement to allow itself to be painted into a corner of silence,” he said.
But in a rejoinder, Mr Kenyatta dismissed Mr Imanyara's contention saying he will be on the ballot.
"The presidency will be given by Kenyans and shortcuts won't wash. Kenyans voted for the new Constitution so that the dictates of the law reign supreme, not the whims of the so-called reformists," said Mr Kenyatta's spokesman Munyori Buku.
"Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto will be on the ballot because nothing prevents them from not being there.
"If mere allegations were all that mattered to bar leaders from public service, then Kenya would become a jungle," he said.
But the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) strongly opposed his view saying: "The ICC did not and does not have the mandate to pronounce on the question whether or not the two suspects can run for public office."
LSK chairman Eric Mutua added said: “It is only Kenyans themselves either as individuals or institutions who can decide on the question whether or not in view of the charges (international crimes) facing the two suspects at The Hague, they may run for public office."
Mr Wamalwa had said the matter was "purely a judicial process and should not be politicised".
Uhuru na huyo kichaa mwenzie wanaweweseka tu, their days are numbered....
Soma hili dondoo hapa:
Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta has to run. And this is why he MUST run.
The entire Kenyatta dynasty and their vast wealth is under serious and real threat. If convicted at the ICC, all assets in Kenyatta's multi-billion shilling financial and land empire will be forcibly seized and transferred into a fund that restitutes and compensates victims.
All intelligent minds know that only a President Uhuru Kenyatta can save Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta from this inevitable conundrum above. That is a plain fact. Neither does President Kalonzo Musyoka nor President Mudavadi have the guts to fight-off the Imperialists targeting Uhuru and his assets. The former duo will actually cooperate with the ICC fully without hesitation. They wont risk Kenya being sanctioned by the International Community at the expense of one Uhuru Kenyatta, period!