Ruto ICC trial postponed to 2014

Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto. Pic: America.gov (used with permission)

Nairobi – Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto has returned to Kenya from The Hague in the Netherlands after his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged involvement in crimes against humanity was postponed to January next year.

The plane carrying the deputy president and his entourage touched down at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Sunday night. Ruto was welcomed by Members of Parliament from the Senate and National Assembly, led by Majority Leader Aden Duale.

The trial of Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang on charges related to the deadly violence which followed Kenya’s December 27, 2007 general election was postponed, following the request by the ICC Prosecutor’s office to put off the case to January 13 after a number of the witnesses scheduled to testify before the Christmas break became unavailable.

Meanwhile, the debate over the ICC prosecuting sitting Heads of State and Government and its consequences on peace, stability and reconciliation continued at the meeting of Assembly of State Parties of the ICC at The Hague.

However, a decision on the proposal by Kenya and the African Union (AU) to exclude sitting heads of state from indictment would take a long time to conclude.

Assembly President Tiina Intelmann told a news conference at The Hague last Wednesday that the matter would be discussed but a ruling would not be immediate because amendments to the Rome Statute take some time.

The amendments must go through the United Nations Security Council.

Intelmann explained that decisions to amend the Rome Statute were technical and had to undergo thorough scrutiny, which also encompassed the expertise of the ICC judges.- SAnews.gov.za-NNN-KBC