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Deputy President William Ruto allowed to be away next week

THE HAGUE TRIAL
By FELIX OLICK | November 2nd 2013

By FELIX OLICK

Deputy President William Ruto will be back in Kenya next week as his trials continue at the International Criminal Court.

 A three-judge bench allowed Ruto to return to Kenya following a request by his Lead Counsel Karim Khan yesterday morning.

 “The Chamber has deliberated on the Ruto request. The Chamber unanimously grants the request, reasons to be given on Monday,” Judge Chile Eboe Osuji ruled.

 It’s not clear what matter Ruto will be attending to in Kenya as the deliberations were made in private session.

 On Friday last week, the deputy president was allowed to return to Kenya for three days to allow President Uhuru Kenyatta attend a regional summit in Rwanda.

 He returned to The Hague on Thursday.

 However, on the same day Radio Journalist Joshua Sang was denied a similar excusal to attend the graduation ceremony of his daughter.

 The three-judge bench ruled by majority of two to one that the request by Sang did not constitute ‘exceptional circumstances’ under which an accused can be permitted to skip hearings. Yesterday, it also emerged that Ruto and Sang could still have a date with The Hague judges after November 8 following the postponement of the trial against President Uhuru Kenyatta.

 The bench mooted that there could be more sittings in the Ruto case before the December recess.

 “Kenyatta case has been adjourned to February. We need to discuss the implication of that before we adjourn this session. Whether we can use the opportunity in the Ruto case,” Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji indicated yesterday morning.

 Prosecution Counsel Anton Stenberg said that they are ready to proceed with about two to three witnesses before the December recess.

 However, Khan and Sang’s lawyer Katwa Kigen vehemently opposed the new proposal saying that they need to proceed with defence investigations and also attend to their families.

 The trials against Ruto and Sang was scheduled to officially adjourn on November 8 to pave way for the trial against President Kenyatta on November 12.

 However, on Thursday, the Trial Chamber V (b) ruled that Uhuru’s trial would commence on February 5.

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