ICC: Kenya's Ruto must attend whole trial

2013-08-20 14:07
Deputy President William Ruto. (AFP)

Deputy President William Ruto. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Hague - The International Criminal Court on Tuesday suspended a decision allowing Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto to be absent from parts of his trial next month for crimes against humanity.

The ICC in June said that Ruto could skip parts of his trial over deadly violence that erupted in Kenya after elections in late 2007 because of the demands placed on him in Nairobi by his duties as deputy president.

But ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda appealed that decision, insisting Ruto should be present throughout his trial, alongside fellow-accused Joshua Arap Sang, 37, which begins on 10 September.

As a result, the ICC appeals chamber on Tuesday suspended the decision allowing Ruto to be absent pending a decision on Bensouda's appeal.

"The request for suspensive effect is granted," the court said in a statement.

Ruto, 46, faces three counts of crimes against humanity over deadly violence that erupted in Kenya after elections in late 2007, which claimed some 1 100 lives and displaced around 600 000 people.

Bensouda argued that if the appeals court overturns the ruling allowing Ruto to be absent then the trial would have to start again, if he had already missed any of the hearings.

Such a decision "would create an irreversible situation that could not be corrected", Bensouda said, warning that witnesses may be unable or unwilling to testify again.

The ICC has already rejected a request from Ruto and Sang's lawyer to move the high-profile trial to Kenya or Tanzania.

The ICC in January 2012 confirmed crimes against humanity charges against four senior Kenyans including Ruto, Sang and Kenya's newly-elected President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Charges against a fourth accused, civil servant Francis Muthaura, have since been dropped.

Judges in June postponed Kenyatta's trial until November 12, when he is expected to become the first-ever serving head of state to face the ICC's judges.

What began as post-election riots in 2007 quickly turned into ethnic killings and reprisal attacks, plunging Kenya into its worst wave of unrest since independence from Britain in 1963.

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  uhuru kenyatta  |  william ruto  |  kenya  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.