News / Africa

ICC May Open Trial of Kenya's Ruto in East Africa

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.
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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.
VOA News
The International Criminal Court says the trial of Kenya's deputy president may begin in East Africa, instead of the ICC's headquarters in The Hague.
 
Kenya has pressured the ICC to drop the cases against Deputy President William Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta - both of whom face charges of crimes against humanity - and let them be tried in the Kenyan courts.
 
The ICC has declined to drop the cases but said Monday that "it may be desirable to hold the commencement of the trial and other portions" in Kenya or possibly in neighboring Tanzania.
 
It said judges see "the significance of holding the trial close to the locality where the alleged crimes were committed."
 
Ruto is charged for his alleged role in orchestrating ethnic violence that swept Kenya after the 2007 presidential election. The court Monday set a new trial date of September 10 for Ruto and his co-accused, radio executive Joshua Arap Sang.
 
There was no new word on the case of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is also charged with orchestrating the violence.  His trial is due to begin in July.
 
All three men have denied the charges against them.
 
In a letter last month to the U.N. Security Council, officials argued that renewed violence could break out in Kenya if the two leaders are put on trial at the Hague.
 
More than 1,100 people died in the violence that swept across Kenya in early 2008, after the disputed presidential election.
 
Ruto's trial was originally due to begin in April, but was delayed twice while judges sorted out issues with the defense and ICC prosecutors.  
 
Despite the charges, Kenyatta won a first-round victory in Kenya's elections this March with Ruto as his running mate.

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