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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs