Deputy President William Ruto will have to attend most trial sessions at the ICC in The Hague following a decision made on Thursday by the appeals Chamber that was announced this morning.
The ICC has told Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto he must attend most of his trial on charges of crimes against humanity after prosecutors appealed against an earlier decision which would have let him sit out most of the hearings in Kenya. The court ruled however that he can be excused on a “case by case” basis. He will be allowed to apply to miss portions of the case but his absence will only be allowed when it is absolutely necessary.
Ruto’s lawyers argued that he was needed in Kenya following the attack by Islamist militants on the Westgate centre.
In their ruling the judges criticised of the initial decision to give the deputy president a “blanket excusal” before the trial had even started.
Today’s ruling could deepen tensions between the ICC and African leaders who accuse it of unfairly targeting the continent.
The judgement could also affect the trial of President Uhuru Kenyatta, whose trial is due to start next month. The prosecution is still considering whether to appeal against an earlier decision to allow Kenyatta to miss parts of his trial after he argued that attending the trial in The Hague would prevent him from governing Kenya.