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ICC postpones start date of Kenyatta trial

The International Criminal Court has postponed Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta's trial for crimes against humanity until February. It is the latest delay to a trial that was scheduled to begin next month.

The Hague-based ICC said in a statement Thursday it " decided to postpone the trial's commencement in the case against Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta to 5 Feburary 2014."

Kenyatta is accused of being behind the 2007-08 post election violence in Kenya that clained more than 1,000 lives and displaced several hundred thousand more.

His defense team last week asked that the original November 12 start date to be pushed back, saying Kenyatta needed more time to deal with the "national and international crisis" stemming from September's deadly attack on the Westgate shopping center in Nairobi.

The prosecution said they did not believe Kenyatta's presidential duties were "reason to delay the trial," but did not object to the postponement because it also wanted more time to present witnesses.

The judges wrote in their decision granting a third postponement that the court "deeply regrets that repeated adjournments of the trial have been necessary because one or both parties have required more time to prepare."

The ICC has come under fire recently for accusations it unfairly targets African leaders. The African Union has asked for immunity for African heads of state and urged the UN Security Council to suspend proceedings against Kenyatta and other Kenyan leaders for a year.

dr/ipj (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)