Arusha, August 2, 2013 (FH) – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has been invited to suggest where his trial, due to start on November 12 before the International Criminal Court, should be held. Meanwhile, at the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, two Rwandans escaped prosecution for contempt of court.

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ICCInternational Criminal Court (ICC) judges due to try new Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta this week invited the parties and the ICC Registry to submit proposals by August 13 on where the trial should be held. Kenyatta, who was elected president in March, is accused of crimes against humanity committed in his country in 2007-2008 post-election violence. His trial is due to open on November 12, according to the ICC calendar. In a Court decision issued on Monday, the prosecution, defence, legal representatives of victims and ICC Registry are asked to say whether they will leave the trial location up to the judges or if they want the trial opening and/or any of the hearings to be held in Kenya or Tanzania.

MICTTwo Rwandans working for the defence of former Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware, whose case is on appeal before the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), were this week freed from prosecution for contempt of court.  Déogratias Sebureze and Maximilien Turinabo, respectively legal assistant and defence investigator for Ngirabatware, had since February been under an “order in lieu of an indictment”. They were suspected of threatening and intimidating two prosecution witnesses in the Ngirabatware case. Judge Vagn Joensen concluded, however, that the evidence was not strong enough to pursue charges against the two men. The Danish judge handed down his decision after close examination of the witnesses’ statements to an independent investigator appointed by the Court (amicus curiae).

RWANDAIn Kigali, the High Court on Tuesday adjourned the genocide trial of former Rwandan politician Léon Mugesera to September 3. The Rwandan judges are on judicial leave until the end of August. Mugesera, who was extradited from Canada in January 2012, is being tried mainly in connection with a speech he gave at a meeting of the former ruling party MRND in November 1992. He was at the time MRND Vice-President for the prefecture of Gisenyi in northern Rwanda. The prosecution says the speech was a call to exterminate Tutsis, which Mugesera denies.