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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs