World Bulletin / News Desk
Three judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have ordered Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to appear at a pre-trial meeting (status conference) on October 8 in a criminal case in The Hague in which he is a defendant.
"The matters to be discussed and considered at the Status Conference, directly impact the interest of the accused person [Kenyatta], interest of Kenya's Post Election Victims, [PEVs] and the interest of the witnesses," ICC spokesperson in Kenya Maria Kamara told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
"For these reasons, the chamber [court] considers that the requirement of justice in this case will necessitate the physical presence of the accused," Kamara said.
Kenyatta faces charges of having committed crimes against humanity amid the ethnic violence that erupted in Kenya following disputed poll results in December 2007.
More than 1,300 people were killed in the 2007 post-electoral violence, while hundreds of thousands were forced to abandon their homes and seek refuge at internal displacement camps set up by the government.
The status conference will include three judges tasked with assessing the progress of the case against the Kenyan president.
"It is for the judges to determine and to assess what legal consequences should be if an accused does not comply with a court order," Kamara said.
Kenyatta had requested the Hague court to allow him not to attend the conference and permit his lawyers to represent him.
Kamara confirmed that the trial judges – Koniko Ozaki, Robert Fremr and Geoffrey Henderson – rejected Kenyatta's request to appear at the conference via a video link.
"The chamber [court] by majority does not find merit in the defense's submission regarding the accused's [Kenyatta’s] engagements having been planned prior to the convening of the Status Conference,” the judges ruled.
"Therefore, the chamber is also not persuaded by the alternative request for an adjournment of the conference," they said.
Kenyatta is scheduled to attend a regional summit of the East African Community (EAC), due to open on October 8 – the same day of the ICC status conference.
The Kenyan leader is also scheduled to attend celebrations on October 9 marking the 52nd anniversary of Uganda's independence from Britain.Last Mod: 01 Ekim 2014, 10:08