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May 06, 2013

ICC Postpones Trial for Kenyan Deputy President

by VOA News

The International Criminal Court [ICC] has delayed the trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto, who is facing charges of crimes against humanity.

The trial was set to begin May 28, but a court statement Monday said it was "provisionally" postponed until after judges hold status conferences with prosecutors and defense attorneys.

Ruto is accused of helping to organize a campaign of ethnic violence after Kenya's disputed 2007 presidential election. More than 1,100 people were killed and 300,000 displaced from their homes.

Despite the charges, Ruto was elected as the running mate of new Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in March. Kenyatta is facing similar charges at the ICC and is due to go on trial in July. In March, his lawyers asked the court to drop the charges, after the case against the president's co-accused, Francis Muthaura, collapsed.

A Kenyan radio executive, Joshua Arap Sang, is being tried alongside Ruto, although the ICC has said his contribution to the crimes was "not essential."

This is the second time the ICC has delayed the trial, which was originally set to begin last month.

The court says that in its status conferences, scheduled for this week and next, it will address prosecutors' request to add five people to the list of witnesses, among other procedural matters.