On 23 January 2014, Trial Chamber V(B) of the International Criminal Court issued an “Order vacating trial date of 5 February 2014, convening a status conference, and addressing other procedural matters” in The Prosecutor v Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Chamber issued the Order in light of a number key filings in the case against the President of Kenya, namely (a) the Prosecution’s 20 December 2013 request seeking an adjournment of the provisional trial date for three months in order to ‘undertake additional investigative steps’ in relation to its case against Mr Kenyatta; (b) Mr Kenyatta’s 13 January 2014 request that the Chamber dismiss the Prosecution request for an adjournment and terminate the proceedings under Article 64(2) of the Statute on the grounds of insufficiency of evidence; (c) the Common Legal Representative of Victims’ 13 January 2014 response supporting the Prosecution request and seeking the Chamber’s leave to be present at any status conference convened in relation to it; and (d) the Prosecution’s 15 January 2014 request for leave to reply to the Defence response.
In the Order, the Chamber stated that “[i]n order to give thorough consideration to the requests pending before it, and having due regard to the constituent requirements of Article 64(2) of the Statute, the Chamber considers it appropriate to vacate the trial commencement date of 5 February 2014, without prejudice to the position of the Chamber on the aforementioned pending requests.”
The Chamber also convened a status conference for Wednesday, 5 February 2014 in order “to discuss the issues raised by the parties in relation to the Prosecution Request and the Defence Response.”
The Order also stated that “given the new and distinct issues of law raised by the Defence Response and the nature of the relief requested therein, the Chamber finds that it is appropriate to treat it as a new request to which the Prosecution is entitled to fully respond.” The Prosecution was ordered to submit its response by Friday, 31 January 2014.