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

Nearly 900 Dead, Missing in 2014 Air Disasters

Southeast Asia took a particularly heavy hit; 3 major events involved weather, two planes were shot down in eastern Ukraine, and one crash was attributed to mechanical problems More

Video Islamic State Emergence Transformed Syria, Iraq in 2014

'It was very clear that there were problems building up in Iraq at the end of 2013 but everybody was distracted by Syria,' says one expert, explaining group's rapid rise More

Rights Group: IS Executed Nearly 2,000 in Syria in 6 Months

Islamist group also killed 120 of its own members, most foreign fighters trying to return home, in past two months, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights 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.
Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaisei
X
Daniel Schearf
December 25, 2014 4:34 PM
Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video 2014 Saw Intensification of Boko Haram Insurgency

The year 2014 saw Nigerian militant sect Boko Haram intensify its five-year insurgency and target civilians in large numbers as it seized territory in the northeast. The kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Chibok in April sparked global outrage, but failed to become the turning point against the sect that Nigeria’s president said it would be. The picture at year's end is one of devastation and uncertainty. VOA’s Anne Look reports.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Fight to Survive Water Crisis

In a region choking from dwindling water supplies, Lebanon has long been regarded as one of the few places where there is enough. But in recent years, half the people in the country have faced severe shortages. And the more than 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon are hit the worst by the water crisis, making the country's most vulnerable people increasingly impoverished and sick. Heather Murdock reports for VOA in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid