30 Sep 2011

Kenyan politican denies charges of crimes against humanity

4:05 pm on 30 September 2011

The Kenyan deputy prime minster, Uhuru Kenyatta, has appeared in person before the International Criminal Court at The Hague, to deny charges in connection with the killings that followed the 2007 presidential election.

Mr Kenyatta wants to stand in next year's presidential poll and hopes to persuade the court to dismiss the case against him.

He faces charges of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and forced displacement.

The prosecution alleges Mr Kenyatta, who is the son of the country's first president, he helped a criminal gang known as the Mungiki carry out attacks against supporters of a rival political party.

He has told the court he had no connection with the group and, instead, had acted as a peacemaker at a time when violence was breaking out.

The BBC's reports the trial is attracting huge interest in Kenya, with people crowding around television sets to see Mr Kenyatta on the witness stand.