News / Africa

Kenya’s Deputy President Pleads Not Guilty

Kenya’s Deputy President Pleads Not Guilty to Crimes Against Humanityi
X
September 10, 2013 10:04 PM
Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto has pleaded not guilty to charges of crimes against humanity at the opening day of his trial Tuesday at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, the trial is seen as a landmark case for both Kenya and the ICC
Henry Ridgwell
Kenya’s deputy president William Ruto has pleaded not guilty to charges of crimes against humanity at the opening day of his trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.  The trial is seen as a landmark case for both Kenya and the ICC.

At the opening of the trial Tuesday, the International Criminal Court’s presiding judge, Chile Eboe-Osuji, read out the charges against the defendant.

"William Samoei Ruto, you have been charged, in count one, with murder constituting a crime against humanity under article 7 1a, and article 25 3a of the Rome statute.  How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?”

Ruto pleaded not guilty.

ICC Cases Related to Violence After Kenya's 2007 Elections

William Ruto

  • Deputy president of Kenya
  • Trial opened Sept. 10, 2013
  • Accused of being criminally responsible as an indirect co-perpetrator to 3 crimes against humanity:
    - Murder
    - Deportation or forcible transfer of population
    - Persecution

Joshua Arap Sang

  • Radio executive at Kass FM
  • Trial opened Sept. 10, 2013
  • Accused of having otherwise contributed to the commission of 3 crimes against humanity:
    - Murder
    - Deportation or forcible transfer of population
    - Persecution

Uhuru Kenyatta

  • President of Kenya
  • Trial opens Nov. 12, 2013
  • Accused of being criminally responsible as an indirect co-perpetrator to 5 crimes against humanity:
    - Murder
    - Deportation or forcible transfer of population
    - Rape
    - Persecution
    - Other inhumane acts

Source: ICC
The allegations relate to the violence that erupted after Kenya's 2007 elections, in which more than a thousand people were killed.

Kenyan broadcaster Joshua Arap Sang also pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and persecution.

ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda then gave her opening remarks.

"The prosecution asserts that the two accused, Mr. William Ruto and Mr. Joshua Arap Sang, are among most responsible for the crimes of murder, of persecution and deportation that occurred in the Rift Valley.  It is difficult to imagine the suffering or the terror of the men and the women and children who were burned alive, hacked to death or chased from their homes by armed youths," said the prosecutor.

Defense lawyer Karim Khan expressed confidence that the prosecution’s case would fall apart.

"Unfortunately, it can only be described as a whole-scale duping of an office that has been put in place to protect the rights of victims," said the lawyer.

Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, is also charged with crimes against humanity and will face trial in The Hague in November.

Ruto is the first serving official to appear at the International Criminal Court.  He and Kenyatta were opponents in 2007 - but formed a coalition to win elections this year.

Bringing the defendants to trial was an achievement for the ICC, said analyst Mark Kersten of the London School of Economics.

“I think it is quite a landmark given the fact that a lot of people thought that this day may actually never happen," he said. "But I think very quickly people will say, ‘So now what?  Will Ruto continue cooperating?  Will we see the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, come to the ICC as well?’”

Last week Kenya’s parliament passed a motion to withdraw from the ICC.  But it’s unlikely the defendants will stop cooperating, said Kersten.

“If they stop cooperating with the ICC it’s very certain, it is certain that the ICC would turn around and say ‘now your summons is being replaced with an arrest warrant’.  And what we would see then I think is that these two individuals, Ruto and Kenyatta, would have a lot harder time having normal diplomatic relationships with the rest of the world,” he said.

Former United Nations chief Kofi Annan - who brokered a 2008 power-sharing deal in Kenya - has refuted claims that the prosecutions are a breach of the country’s sovereignty.  He said the trials are essential to combat the use of violence by Kenya's political elite.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid