Deputy President William Ruto, Joshua Sang trials resume on Monday

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Ruto Sang ICCThe trials of Deputy President William Ruto and former broadcaster Joshua Sang at ICC resume on Monday, with the prosecution expected to wrap up cross-examination of the first witness.

The victims’ lawyer, Mr Wilfred Nderitu, will then take to the floor to interrogate Witness 536 before the defence does the same.

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The testimony of the witness will, however, continue in private as the chamber had directed last week after it emerged that there were attempts to intimidate her.

The two suspects are accused of crimes against humanity during 2007/08 post-election violence.

The hearings resume as Mr Ruto plans to file an urgent application for adjournment of his trial to return to Nairobi to attend to the Saturday terrorist attack.

The application will be placed before Trial Chamber V (a), with Mr Ruto asking the other parties— Sang’s defence, ICC registry and the prosecution — to make oral submissions to expedite it.

“The defence.. urgently requests that, pursuant to Article 64(6)(f) of the Rome Statute, the Trial Chamber adjourn the trial proceedings in this case in order that Mr Ruto can return to Kenya to deal with an ongoing and extremely serious matter of national security,” the application reads.

The team led by Mr Karim Khan argues that the attack on Westgate Shopping Mall is an example of roles that fall under the Deputy President’s docket.

“Mr Ruto, as the serving Deputy President of Kenya, is required to return to Kenya to discharge his ordinary constitutional duties, which include participating in security briefings and consultations,” the lawyers argue.

“Thereafter, Mr Ruto will be required to deal with the aftermath of such a traumatic and tragic event for Kenya— including attending funerals and other affairs of state,” the filing states.

Mr Sang’s lawyers, though not opposing the application, want their case to continue in Mr Ruto’s absence.

Lead counsel Katwa Kigen said his client did not wish to lose the momentum of the trials, which enter the third week on Monday.

“It might be desirable to allow these proceedings to go on in his absence to avoid any further interruptions in future,” he said.

“It is not our application, however, if it could proceed within an arrangement that allows the DP to attend to the affairs of the state without interrupting the case we would be most grateful,” he added.

Mr Ruto on Sunday remained indoors at his residence in The Hague as Mr Sang alongside his lawyers joined the Kenyan community for a church service at By Faith Ministries in Westiende 101. The summon was delivered by Pastor Faith Wanja.

Addressing the faithful, Mr Kigen said “some positive things” would occur this week.

On his part, Mr Joel Bosek, who is also in Mr Sang’s defence team, expressed confidence in the cases.

“This week will be very critical. We are seeing ourselves winning.”-nation.co.ke

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