THE HAGUE, Netherlands – One of four prominent Kenyans charged with involvement in crimes including murder and deportation following disputed elections wants the International Criminal Court to reconsider its decision to put him on trial, saying it was based on "fraudulent evidence."
In a written motion released Wednesday, lawyers for Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta have asked the court to halt the April 11 start of his trial and again assess whether prosecution evidence is strong enough to warrant his prosecution.
The motion says a key prosecution witness recanted his testimony linking Kenyatta to an organized crime gang allegedly involved in the violence.
"In the circumstances, the (decision to put Kenyatta on trial) was ... based upon fraudulent evidence," the motion said.
Kenyatta is charged together with Kenyan Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura with crimes against humanity for alleged involvement in the murder, forcible deportation, persecution and rape of supporters of Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the aftermath of the 2007 vote.
Violence after the election left more than 1,000 people dead.
Despite the ICC case, Kenyatta is standing as a candidate in this year's presidential election.
In a separate trial, due to start April 10, former education minister William Ruto and journalist Joshua Arap Sang face charges of murder, forcible deportation and persecution of supporters of President Mwai Kibaki's National Unity Party after the 2007 vote.
Ruto is running for the vice presidency on a joint ticket with Kenyatta in the March elections.
In a written statement, the prosecutor's office refused to publicly address the Kenyatta defense claims, saying the issue would be handled in court, not through the media.