29 December 2012

Kenya: ICC Calendar Slots Daily Trials for Uhuru, Ruto

Photo: Eskinder Debebe/UN
ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda (file photo): The prosecutor is set to release post-election violence witness list.

Kenya could be faced with the reality of having an absentee President and Deputy President if Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto win the March 4 presidential poll.

The four Kenyans accused of crimes against humanity at The Hague are required to be in Netherlands every weekday when their trials kick off in April next year.

According to the ICC tentative calendar for 2013, the trials of the four are scheduled for each day of the year other than weekends and when the court takes its holiday and recess breaks.

The trial against Ruto and radio presenter Joshua Sang will kick off on April 10, while that against Uhuru and former Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura will start on April 11.

Since the Rome Statute requires the accused to be present in person during the course of the trial, Uhuru and Ruto may only have Saturdays and Sundays to attend to their State duties.

Uhuru and Ruto have maintained that they will co-operate with the court even if they are elected to the highest office in the land.The two are approaching the election on a joint ticket under the Jubilee Coalition where Uhuru is the Presidential candidate and Ruto his running-mate.

In November, the trial judges rejected Uhuru and Muthaura's request for the trials be held either in Kenya or Arusha.

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