News / Africa

Kenya Deputy President Ruto’s ICC Trial to begin Tuesday

William Ruto sits in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, May 14, 2013.
William Ruto sits in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, May 14, 2013.
Peter Clottey
Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto goes on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) Tuesday on charges of involvement in violence that left about 1,300 people dead.

The ICC accuses Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta of human rights abuses through involvement in Kenya’s 2007-2008 post-election violence that left about 1,300 dead and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes.

Also going on trial Tuesday is former radio host Joshua Arap Sang, who is also accused of involvement in the deadly violence.

ICC spokesman Fadi El-Abdallah says the court will respect both Kenyatta and Ruto amidst demands by some Kenyan lawmakers that the two leaders be accorded special treatment because of the high office they hold. 

“We are very respectful of each and every suspect or accused that is present before the ICC, and we take all the appropriate measures to ensure the dignity and the wellbeing of the suspect and accused during their stay before the court,” said El-Abdallah.

“The ICC authority is exercised inside its own premises, but outside of the premises, it is a matter that is under the authority of the Dutch state,” he said. “So, any kind of practical arrangement that will be necessary, it is discussed directly between the Kenyan authorities and the Dutch authorities.”

El-Abdallah says Ruto, Sang and President Kenyatta are free persons who would be appearing before the Hague-based court on a voluntary basis. The court, he says, has not issued arrest warrants against them.

Kenya signed the Rome Statute recognizing the ICC’s authority in 2003. But, last week, Kenya’s parliament passed a measure that seeks to enable the East African nation to withdraw as a state party to the ICC.

The Rome Statute stipulates conditions under which a state party can withdraw its membership.

“The withdrawal cannot be effective before one year of the notification of withdrawal of the United Nations Secretary General. And even after this one year, the obligations that are on the state parties that are a result of ongoing investigations or proceedings that have started before the date when the withdrawal becomes effective, these obligations remain,” said El-Abdallah.

Last week, the ICC ruled that prosecutor Fatou Bensouda can add two additional witnesses to her list in the case against Deputy President Ruto. This came after two witnesses withdrew from testifying before the court citing family issues, safety and security concerns.

Analysts say the witnesses’ withdrawal poses a significant challenge to the prosecutor in her case against Ruto. El-Abdallah says the ICC takes the protection of witnesses seriously, and warned that it is illegal to coerce or prevent witness from testifying at the court.

“The ICC offers very solid protective measures to our witnesses,” said El-Abdallah. “Interfering with the witness is a crime, and this can be prosecuted both under the ICC statute and on the national laws.”
Clottey interview with Fadi El-Abdallah, ICC spokesman
Clottey interview with Fadi El-Abdallah, ICC spokesmani
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs