Sunday, May 12, 2013

ICC judges to rule on Ruto trial date


Deputy President William Ruto’s request to have his trial at the International Criminal Court moved to November is expected to feature prominently at a status conference to be held on Tuesday at The Hague.

Also on the agenda of the conference expected to commence at 6pm, is chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s request to add five witnesses to their list as well as the modalities of the accused’s participation in the trial.

Mr Ruto and former radio presenter Joshua arap Sang face three counts of crimes against humanity for their alleged role in the 2007/08 post-election violence.
Also facing crimes against humanity charges is President Kenyatta.

Mr Ruto had last month requested his trial be moved to November citing the inclusion of evidence from the five new witnesses and the short time for the defence to prepare its case. His trial had been scheduled to commence on May 28.

And last week, Trial Chamber V judges, in response to the plea, announced that a new date would be set after they hear the prosecution and defence during separate private sessions and later jointly in open sitting.

“Therefore, the Chamber hereby, without prejudice to the Chamber’s decisions on the pending requests, vacates the trial date of 28 May 2013,” Judges Kuniko Ozaki, Robert Fremr and Chile Eboe-Osuji ruled.

They added: “The new start date for trial will be rendered in due course.”

Having heard submissions, “the Chamber considers that it is not feasible, at this stage, to retain May 28 as the start of the trial,” the judges said.

ICC judges have postponed Mr Ruto’s trial in the past, saying it was important he is given enough time to prepare his case.