DP Ruto to jet in for the weekend as Uhuru heads for AU special summit

Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto and his lead Lawyer Karim Khan during a break in the former's ICC trial in The Hague

Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto and his lead Lawyer Karim Khan during a break in the former’s ICC trial in The Hague

Deputy President William Ruto is expected back in Nairobi over the weekend to take charge as President Uhuru Kenyatta travels to Addis Ababa for the African Union Extraordinary Summit.

The deputy President leaves The Hague on Friday after the proceedings in his ongoing trial take a break for the weekend.

Mr Ruto must, however, be back on time for the resumption of his trial on Monday as he cannot be tried in absentia unless the Appeals Chamber of the ICC rules to uphold the earlier ruling that excused him from attending all the trials in person.

The excusal ruling was appealed by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda who argued that the absence of the accused in the trial would impair the integrity of the trials.

The trial of Mr Ruto and Mr Joshua Sang is scheduled to run until November 1, when there would be a break to pave way for the commencement of the trial of President Uhuru Kenyatta on November 12.

Trial Chamber V (A) is yet to communicate if there will be another session this year after the adjournment on November 1 which the prosecution had requested.

The defence for Mr Ruto continued Thursday with the cross-examination of the second prosecution witness 326, though most of it was in private session.

Thereafter, the defence for Joshua Sang will take over. The prosecution will then have a chance to re-examine the witness before he is let go.

President Kenyatta has said that constitutionally, he cannot be out of the country at the same time the Deputy President is also out, an argument he based his decision to skip the UN General Assembly.

The President also skipped a meeting on September 16 in Brussels that was meant to discuss the Somali crisis consider the threats it poses to the security situation in Kenya and the Horn of Africa region because Mr Ruto was at the time in The Hague.

Meanwhile, the ICC has rejected an application by a Kenyan, Ms Moraa Gesicho to file amicus curiae (friend of the court) observations in the case against President Kenyatta.

Trial Chamber V (B) on Wednesday rejected the request by Ms Gesicho on grounds that she lacks “the specific expertise relevant to the evaluation of the CIPEV report (Waki Commission report).”

“Moreover, the Chamber does not consider that the proposed observations of the Applicant would be useful to it in the evaluation of the CIPEV Report. Accordingly, the Chamber does not consider that the proposed observations are desirable for the proper determination of the case,” the Trial Chamber V (B) judges Kuniko Ozaki, Robert Fremr and Chile Eboe-Osuji noted.

The applicant had on September 9 filed a request for leave to submit amicus curiae observations on the Waki report and was willing to offer her “research expertise in its evaluation” should the chamber consider the report.




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