News / Africa

Kenya’s Deputy Leader to Appear during ICC Trial

Combination picture shows Kenya's then-finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Kenya's former Higher Education Minister William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague in these April 8, 2011 (L) and September 1, 2011 file photos.
Combination picture shows Kenya's then-finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Kenya's former Higher Education Minister William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague in these April 8, 2011 (L) and September 1, 2011 file photos.
Peter Clottey
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has ruled that Kenya’s deputy president, William Ruto, must attend key segments of his trial on charges of crimes against humanity scheduled to begin in September, according to a court spokesman.

Ruto and Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta face similar charges before the court in connection with their alleged role in the country’s 2007-2008 post-election violence.

“The trial chamber has decided to grant the excusal from being present at the trial, except for key hearings of the opening, the closing, the statements of the parties, and when the victims will be presenting their personal concerns and views as well as when the verdict will be pronounced. And eventually if applicable, all the issues related to sentencing and reparations for the victims,” said Fadi el-Abdallah, ICC spokesman.                                                

Ruto’s defense attorneys had petitioned the court to excuse him from having to attend the trial. They also requested that Ruto be allowed to use a video-link during his trial. 

El-Abdallah said that since the trial chamber granted the request to excuse Ruto from being present during all of the trial, the judges did not need to examine the subsidiary request for the video link.

Some Kenyans criticized the ruling, saying the demand for Ruto to be present during throughout trial would put financial strain on the country, since he would have to be accompanied by a security detail because of his status as a leader in Kenya. They contend that a video link would save taxpayers money. El-Abdallah disagreed.

He says Mr. Ruto would be on trial not as the deputy president of the East African nation, but as a person accused as one of the masterminds of the post-poll violence.

“The ICC is not trying the deputy president of Kenya,” continued el-Abdallah, “the person who is at trial before the ICC is Mr. Ruto in his personal capacity and not in his official capacity. So, he is requested to be here in his personal capacity, and not as the deputy head of state.” 

Fatou Bensouda, the ICC prosecutor, recently threatened to report Kenya’s government to the United Nations Security Council if the country refused to fully cooperate with the court in the cases against both President Kenyatta and Ruto.

She also said Kenya’s attorney general, Githu Muigai, had blocked the ICC’s investigative team from collecting evidence and talking to witnesses. But Muigai rejected the allegation and accused Bensouda of “peddling unsupported claims based on paranoia, misunderstandings or false conclusions.”

El-Abdallah said the judges are considering the impasse between the office of the prosecutor and Kenya’s government.

“There is no decision, yet but the different views have been expressed and observations submitted to the judges, who can decide on what will be the correct and adequate measures to implement here,” said el-Abdallah.

“It is not for the prosecutor to bring issues of non-cooperation to the Security Council. It’s only for the judges to make findings eventually of non-cooperation of a state that has the obligation to cooperate with the ICC…the issue of the Security Council can be used only if investigations have been open upon a request by the Security Council, which is not the case for Kenya,” el-Abdallah clarified.                           

The trial for Mr. Ruto is scheduled for September 10.

The ICC accuses Ruto and President Kenyatta of playing a role in Kenya’s 2007-2008 post-election violence that left about 1,300 dead and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes.
Clottey interview with Fadi el-Abdallah, ICC spokesman
Clottey interview with Fadi el-Abdallah, ICC spokesmani
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Russia Names US NGO 'Undesirable'

Prosecutors determine activities of National Endowment for Democracy to be 'undesirable,' paving the way for it to be outlawed on Russian territory More

Erdogan Vows 'Anti-Terror' Campaign in Syria, Iraq

Erdogan expressed confidence the 'necessary steps' will be taken by NATO leaders, who will meet Tuesday at Turkey's request More

North Korea: 'No Interest at All' in Nuke Deal

Senior US envoy Sydney Seiler visits Beijing Tuesday for talks on how to revive the stalled six-party nuclear talks with North Korea 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.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs