The ICC has scored again and this time, Uhuru Kenyatta has been cornered. You see, Uhuru Kenyatta has been given “permission” to skip some sessions of his trial, or has he? According to the ICC, he is only required to be present at certain key parts of the case.
A majority of the judges hearing the case said in a written ruling that Kenyatta has to be present for opening and closing statements, hearings where victims “present their views and concerns in person,” the verdict, and “any other attendance ordered by the chamber.” What this means for Uhuru is, the chamber can decide at any time to force him to attend most of the trial and there is nothing Uhuru Kenyatta can do about this.
In addition, If Uhuru Kenyatta is convicted, he also would have to attend sentencing hearings and hearings at which victims explain the impact on their lives of the crimes and judges discuss reparations.
The ICC made it clear that if Uhuru Kenyatta violates these rules, the conditions of his trial will be revoked and a warrant issued where necessary. This move gives the ICC the upper hand on Uhuru Kenyatta’s case because he is at the mercy of the court. Uhuru Kenyatta had hoped for a year deferment of his trial however, this request was denied.