Kenyan finance minister appears before ICC

April 8, 2011 at 1:51 PM
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands, April 8 (UPI) -- A Kenyan finance minister and other officials faced a pretrial chamber Friday at The Hague for alleged crimes against humanity.

Kenyan Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura and former police chief Hussein Ali appeared before the International Criminal Court on charges they were behind violence that broke out in the aftermath of disputed 2007 elections.

Three other Kenyan leaders appeared before the court Thursday on similar charges. Post-election conflict in Kenya left more than 1,000 people dead and another 600,000 displaced.

The presiding judge in the pretrial chamber said Friday there were reports circulating in Kenyan newspapers that there were movements under way to retrigger violence in Kenya by way of "dangerous speeches."

Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova said any such action would be perceived as a breach of the summons and could result in formal arrest warrants if the terms are violated.

"However, the judges would not prefer to resort to such a drastic measure and would rather -- and we assume the suspects endorse this view -- continue carrying out the proceedings smoothly and respecting the liberty of the three suspects," she said in her statement.

The ICC stepped in after the Kenyan government failed to set up its own tribunal. The trial hearing is set for September.

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