William Ruto Excused From ICC Trial Attendance

William Ruto sits in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, May 14, 2013.
William Ruto sits in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, May 14, 2013.

The International Criminal Court has excused Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto from attending his trial at The Hague on Thursday and Friday.

The decision was taken because Mr Ruto needed to deputise for President Uhuru Kenyatta while he was abroad, said Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji.

Mr Ruto is the most senior serving government official to be tried by the ICC.

He denies charges of fuelling violence after disputed elections in 2007.

Mr Kenyatta is due to stand trial on similar charges next month.

He, too, denies the charges.

About 1,200 people were killed and 600,000 displaced by the conflict.

Mr Ruto wanted to be excused from being at The Hague throughout his trial, saying his presence was not necessary and justice could be served in his absence.

On Wednesday, Judge Eboe-Osuji said Mr Ruto had been “conditionally” excused.

He would have to be present on certain occasions, including when victims of the violence “present their views and concerns in person” and when judgement is handed down, the judge said.

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