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Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto to face violence victims before ICC

By Felix Olick | June 18th 2013

Ruto to face violence victims before ICC

By Felix Olick

Nairobi, KENYA: Deputy President William Ruto will have to face victims of post- election violence when his trial of crimes against humanity begin in September.

Trial Chamber V(A) of the International Criminal Court (ICC)  created softer conditions for Ruto and conditionally granted, by majority, that his request to be excused from being physically present continuously throughout the trial, scheduled to start on 10 September 2013.

A statement issued by the Hague based Court said : “The Chamber, however,  requires him to be present for the entirely of the following sessions: opening and closing statements of all parties and participants and when victims present their views and concerns in person during the trial.”

The man who has been Kenya’s Deputy president for just over three months “is also required to be present during the delivery of judgment in the case and, if applicable, sentencing and reparations and any other attendance that may be ordered by the Chamber.”

It will be a partial reprieve for Mr Ruto as he may get time to attend to his national duties as he had requested. He is co-accused with radio presenter Joshua arap Sang'.

The court cautioned that the Trial Chamber retains judicial control over the accused during the entirety of the proceedings and violations of any of these conditions may result in the revocation of the excusal and/or the issuance of an arrest warrant as appropriate.

The Chamber recalled that the Rome Statute does not afford any immunity based on official capacity. The Chamber stressed that permission granted Mr Ruto to not be continuously present was strictly for purposes of accommodating the demanding functions of his office as Deputy Head of State of Kenya and not merely to gratify the dignity of his own occupation of that office.


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