Four Kenyans, including two potential presidential candidates, will be tried in April on charges of fomenting deadly post-poll violence in 2007-08, the International Criminal Court said Monday.
"Today, the trial chamber of the ICC issued scheduling orders setting the dates for the commencement of the trials in the two Kenyan cases respectively on 10 and 11 April 2013," the Hague-based court said in a statement.
The four men will stand trial in two separate cases.
In one case, Kenya's Deputy President Uhuru Kenyatta, 50, and former civil service chief Francis Muthaura, 65, face five charges each of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, persecution, deportation and other inhumane acts.
In the other case, former agriculture minister William Ruto, 45, and radio presenter Joshua Sang, 36, who were opposition supporters in 2007, each face three crimes against humanity charges.
These include murder, deportation and persecution, and relate to attacks by members of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement against ruling Party of National Unity supporters.
Both Kenyatta and Ruto are potential candidates in presidential elections set for March 4 next year.
To counter concerns of potential unrest should Kenyans see one man being favoured over another, prosecutors have stressed the need for the two trials to run at the same time.
Ruto and Kenyatta have previously claimed their innocence and have promised to cooperate with the court. They remain free and have voluntarily attended other hearings in The Hague.
Ruto is considered a leading candidate in the upcoming vote.
The men are accused of having orchestrated post-election unrest in 2007-08 that killed at least 1,100 people and displaced more than 600,000.
The violence shattered Kenya's image as a beacon of stability in east Africa when the then-opposition leader Raila Odinga accused President Mwai Kibaki of rigging his way to re-election following the 2007 polls.
What began as political riots quickly turned into ethnic killings of Kenyatta's Kikuyu tribe, which launched reprisal attacks, plunging Kenya into its worst wave of violence since independence in 1963.
The court has dropped charges it previously filed against ex-police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali, 56, and former industrialisation minister Henry Kosgey, 64.© ANP/AFP