Capital FM (Nairobi)

19 January 2014

Kenya: Ruto to Leave for the Hague On Sunday Night

Photo: ICC
Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto and his defense team during his opening trial on crimes against humanity following the 2007-2008 post election violence (file photo).

Nairobi — Deputy President William Ruto is scheduled to leave for The Hague on Sunday night to attend the continuation of his International Criminal Court (ICC) trial, which resumed on January 16.

It is understood that Ruto will be at The Hague until Wednesday, after the court granted him excusal from continuous presence in his case.

At the time of his excusal, the Court noted that Ruto would not be in a position to travel out of the country owing to the fact that President Uhuru Kenyatta was away in Angola.

Last week, the Trial Chamber ruled that he is required to be in Court for the first five days of hearing, starting after a judicial recess, among other conditions.

The court already sat for two days last week (Thursday and Friday) and he is only obligated to be in Court for another three days.

The Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has however criticised this arrangement and has indicated that she will appeal against it.

While granting him conditional excusal from trial, the Trial Chamber Judges noted the Amendments brought in to Article 134 of the Rules of Procedure during the Assembly of States Parties and the effects they had on Ruto's trial.

The trial kicked off on September 10, 2013 and has seen a total of eight witnesses testify so far. The ninth witness is currently on the stand although details surrounding this testimony remain scanty.

All the witnesses have been testifying behind the protection of distorted voices, highly pixeleted faces and through the use of various pseudonyms.

Most of the witnesses have given accounts of the events that transpired in 2007/2008 and the defence has been working around the clock to poke holes into these testimonies.

Concerns of false witness accounts have been raised by the defence while the prosecution remains concerned with witness intimidation and withdrawals.

Ruto is facing charges with former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang for alleged crimes against humanity.

Sang has indicated to the court he is not opposed to Ruto's excusal.

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