Kenya: Ruto slams 'strange' ICC charges

2012-01-23 18:02
Nairobi - Kenyan presidential candidate William Ruto on Monday dismissed as "strange" the International Criminal Court charges against him over 2007-08 post-election violence.

"Allegations against me will forever be strange to me. My legal team will move expeditiously to analyse the ruling and the actions to take," Ruto told reporters at his Nairobi home.

"I am committed to demonstrate my innocence."

Ruto is among four prominent Kenyans the ICC ruled on Monday should face trial over deadly post-election violence four years ago. Ruto is charged with crimes against humanity for murder, forcible transfer and persecution.

Charges against Uhuru Kenyatta, finance minister and son of Kenya's founding president, were also confirmed.

Both Ruto and Kenyatta are seen as leading challengers to Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the next presidential election, which is due to be held by March 2013 at the latest.

"I am firmly still in the presidential race, the charges confirmed against me will not affect it," Ruto added, speaking at a press conference surrounded by MPs, including Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka.

"We must focus on building a united republic... we must focus on peaceful co-existence," Ruto said.

Fellow indictee Joshua Arap Sang, a radio presenter, who is also charged with crimes against humanity for allegedly using his show to incite and plan violence, said he would appeal the decision to proceed to trial.

"I disagree with it, I am definitely going to contest it," Sang told reporters.

"It has come as a big disappointment for me, because it means now that I will have to spend more time proving my innocence."

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