News / Africa

Kenyan Deputy President Promises to Cooperate with Hague

William Ruto (C) sits in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, May 14, 2013.William Ruto (C) sits in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, May 14, 2013.
x
William Ruto (C) sits in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, May 14, 2013.
William Ruto (C) sits in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, May 14, 2013.
Reuters
Kenya's deputy president, William Ruto, promised the International Criminal Court on Tuesday he and the president would cooperate despite calling their charges over election violence the result of a “conspiracy of lies''.
 
Ruto was attending a pre-trial hearing in The Hague, where he and President Uhuru Kenyatta face charges of orchestrating clashes in which some 1,200 people were killed five years ago after a presidential election.
 
“The new Kenyan administration ... will cooperate with the court, because President Kenyatta and myself believe in the rule of law,'' he said at the end of the two-hour hearing, at which his lawyers asked permission for him to appear in future via video link to allow him to carry out his official duties.
 
Wearing a blue suit and a maroon tie, Ruto looked at ease throughout the hearing, chatting and smiling with his lawyers.
 
Kenyatta and his running mate Ruto won this year's largely peaceful presidential election, leaving the court case as a complication in the West's relations with Kenya, an ally in the fight against Islamist militancy in the region.
 
Analysts said the ICC charges boosted their poll performance in a country where sensitivities about post-colonial interference run deep.
 
Prosecution and defense lawyers repeatedly clashed over the question of whether the prosecution should be allowed to introduce new witnesses to bolster its case against Ruto and his co-accused, the broadcaster Joshua arap Sang.
 
Ruto dismissed the evidence against him, saying that he was the “victim ... of a syndicate of falsehood and a conspiracy of lies choreographed by networks which are obviously against truth and justice''.
 
Prosecutors have struggled to pin charges on suspects in several other countries' cases they have examined, with judges repeatedly criticizing them for failing to line up convincing witnesses.
 
In March, prosecutors dropped charges against Francis Muthaura, Kenyatta's co-accused, saying witnesses had been intimidated into withdrawing their testimony.
 
There were tense scenes in the courtroom as Ruto's lawyer, Karim Khan, attempted to list witnesses whose testimony he said was of little value, before being interrupted by prosecution lawyers who accused him of placing witnesses in jeopardy by reading out confidential material in open court.
 
Prosecutors said allowing Ruto to attend by video link would do a disservice to the victims of the violence.
 
“Witnesses need to be reassured that there are people listening to their testimony, not just your honors but also the parties who are present. The victims need confidence in the system, to be heard,'' said Cynthia Tai, a prosecution lawyer.
 
Judges will rule on the requests at a later date. They have yet to set a date for the start of the trial.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More