News / Africa

Return to Cabinet Possible for Kenyan ICC Suspect William Ruto

Kenya's former Education Minister William Ruto, center left, Kenya's Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, center, and Kenya's Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, center right, wave to thousands of people during a prayer rally at Uhuru Park, Kenya, April 11,
Kenya's former Education Minister William Ruto, center left, Kenya's Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, center, and Kenya's Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, center right, wave to thousands of people during a prayer rally at Uhuru Park, Kenya, April 11,
Michael Onyiego

International Criminal Court suspect William Ruto has been cleared of fraud charges in Kenya’s courts, paving the way for his return to the cabinet.

After nearly seven years of legal battles, suspended Kenyan Higher Education Minister Ruto has been cleared of fraud charges. Ruto faced trial for his alleged involvement in the illegal sale of land in the protected Ngong Forest to the Kenya Pipeline Corporation for an estimated $3.4 million. Ruto was accused of receiving more than half a million dollars in the illicit deal.   

In a ruling late Tuesday, Nairobi Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei dismissed the case, finding the evidence insufficient to indict the Kenyan politician and his co-defendants. As the chairman of the Law Society of Kenya, Apollo Mboya, explains, though, the ruling did not address the innocence or guilt of Ruto.

"The magistrate was of the view that it was not enough evidence to put them on their defense," said Mboya. "It doesn’t mean that he did not do it, but the evidence as presented did not warrant him to be put on his defense."

Mboya told VOA that while appeal was possible, it was not common or likely in a situation such as Ruto’s. Charges were first brought against Ruto in June of 2004. Shortly after, he challenged their validity in Kenya’s Constitutional Court. The challenge was not heard until October of last year, when the court’s judges ordered Ruto to stand trial. The politician was suspended from his post as higher education minister by President Mwai Kibaki, a move mandated by Kenya’s Economic Crimes Act.

With the charges against him dropped, the former minister is now legally cleared to retake his post. But while Kenya’s laws mandate the removal of ministers facing fraud charges, Mboya explained that they do not require his reappointment.

"It is not mandatory that he has to go back because it is at the discretion of the principals. Depending on the way the politics play out, it might be another point of contention," said Mboya.

Ruto is a member of the Orange Democratic Movement, the party of Prime Minister Raila Odinga. While the two were once close allies, they have become estranged over the past year.

The split first occurred when Ruto was demoted by the prime minister from his former post at the Ministry of Agriculture for his opposition to Kenya’s proposed constitution, approved last August. Public disagreements quickly morphed into open hostility once Ruto was named as a suspect in the ICC investigation into Kenya’s 2007-2008 post election violence.

The Kenyan government, especially those members loyal to President Mwai Kibaki, were quick to denounce the ICC process and demand local trials. While his position has since softened, Odinga initially refused to withdraw his support for the Hague.

With Odinga legally required to weigh in on Ruto’s reappointment, it appears unlikely the embattled politician will resume his former post.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs