News / Africa

ICC: Kenya's Ruto Must Attend Trial

An April 2011 Combination picture shows Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta, who was finance minister, and William Ruto, former Higher Education Minister at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
An April 2011 Combination picture shows Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta, who was finance minister, and William Ruto, former Higher Education Minister at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
Gabe Joselow
The International Criminal Court has reversed a decision allowing Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto to be absent for parts of his trial.  The decision, announced Friday, is a major setback for Kenya’s leaders, who are seeking ways to avoid attending trial.
 
Appeals court judges ruled unanimously that the court was wrong in granting Ruto conditional permission to skip portions of his trial.
 
He and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta are charged in separate but similar cases for allegedly orchestrating the inter-ethnic violence that followed the presidential election of 2007, in which more than 1,100 people were killed.
 
Reading a summary of the ruling, Judge Song Sang-hyun said any decisions to excuse Ruto from parts of his trial should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
 
“The absence of the accused can only take place in exceptional circumstances and must not become the rule," Sang said.
 
In June, trial chamber judges ruled that Ruto would not have to appear continuously at The Hague, but that he would have to be present for opening and closing statements, judgments and when victims testify.
 
Kenyatta, who is due to attend the opening of his trial in November, was granted the same reprieve last week.
 
Apollo Mboya, head of the Law Society of Kenya, expects a similar ruling against Kenyatta, should the prosecutor appeal his exemption.
 
“It’s most likely that they are going to give a similar ruling since the ICC is very clear that the suspects before it are not there in their official capacity, but as individuals," Mboya said. "So it is fair and reasonable to predict that is going to be the same ruling that they are going to give in the Kenyatta case.”
 
The Kenyatta administration, backed by the African Union, has been lobbying the United Nations Security Council to push for a deferral of the two cases.
 
In identical letters sent to the Council earlier this month, Kenya and the AU cited security concerns in Kenya following the terrorist siege on Nairobi’s Westgate mall as reason for a deferral.  
 
The letters argue that the proceedings against Kenya’s two leaders will prevent them from fulfilling their duties, including “oversight for national and regional security affairs.”

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
October 25, 2013 8:41 PM
ICC is just trying to show it's true colour and it's arrogance towards black leaders for all to see. Recently elected president and deputy president, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto were unanimously granted permissions to skip portions of their trial by ICC judges. Now the same judges reversed their decision for apparently no specific reasons. Kenyatta and Ruto desperately needed to skip their trial proceedings to deal with very dangerous pressing issues at home; terrorism, high unemployment, poverty and unprecedented number of refugees pouring in from neighbouring countries. Both gentlemen openly vowed earlier to cooperate with ICC, in return they are now embarrassed and humiliated in public domain. The world allowed this Court to behave however they want. African leaders should not allow to be treated cruelly and unjustly. We, as Africans, have suffered oppressions for very long time. Now it's 2013 one has to stop THIS.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid