ICC prosecutor: Evidence insufficient to try Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta at Moi International Sports Complex Kasarani, Nairobi, Kenya, December 12, 2013.

Story highlights

  • ICC prosecutor seeks delay for the trial scheduled to start in February
  • A key witness pulled out while another one provided false evidence, prosecutor says
  • Kenyatta is accused of funding a local militia that conducted reprisal attacks in 2007 election

The International Criminal Court prosecutor called for a delay in the Kenyan president's trial, saying there is no longer sufficient evidence to charge him with crimes against humanity.

The trial against President Uhuru Kenyatta was scheduled to start in February.

Kenyatta is accused of funding a local militia that conducted reprisal attacks during the 2007 post-election violence. He denies the charges.

The case has suffered major setbacks in recent months.

A key witness is not willing to testify while another one confessed to giving false evidence on a critical event in the case, according to Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

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"Having carefully considered my evidence and the impact of the two withdrawals, I have come to the conclusion that currently the case against Mr. Kenyatta does not satisfy the high evidentiary standards required at trial," Bensouda said in a statement.

More than 1,000 people died and hundreds of thousands were displaced when ethnic groups loyal to leading candidates battled one another after the election.

Kenyatta's deputy, William Ruto, faces similar charges. His trial started in September.

African leaders have accused the court of targeting their continent, and have demanded charges against sitting leaders be dropped.

Last month, the U.N. Security Council rejected a resolution to suspend the trial.