Bensouda Wants Ruto’s Excusal Revoked
The International Criminal Court Prosecution has filed an urgent application , Tuesday requesting the court to reconsider its decision to grant the excusal of Deputy President William Ruto from attending his trial on the 21st of November 2013.
The Prosecution notes that Ruto’s excusal was premised on the fact that he would be constitutionally required to be present in Kenya until 21st November due to the absence of President Uhuru Kenyatta during that period.
The Prosecution submits that the underlying rationale for the request for the excusal is no longer valid as the President will return to the country before the 20th of November making Ruto available to appear at trial on the 21st of November.
Deputy President Ruto on Wednesday led the Kenyan delegation to the Assembly of States Parties 12th session which he is likely to address and also take part in discussions with the other delegates.
The Court has in the recent past issued a directive that parties to the proceedings should refrain from commenting on the merits of the case in the press.
The Prosecution says it would be contrary to the rationale underpinning previous decisions of the Chamber for Ruto to use his position before the ASP as a platform to enter into discourse with respect to the case in which he is an accused person, on trial for crimes against humanity, whether or not these statements are subsequently published in the media.
The Prosecution is now seeking direction from the Court ordering that the merit of the case against Ruto and the impending case against Kenyatta must not be discussed at any time before the ASP nor in the public domain.
On the 8th of November, Ruto’s Defence requested his excusal from attending his trial for the period 18th-20th November 2013 and also subsequently on the 21st of the same month.
‘The request as granted solely on the fact that the President would be absent from the country attending the 3rd Africa-Arab Summit in Kuwait on the 19th and 20th of November,” the Prosecution says.
The Prosecution however was opposed to the excusal and instead opted to adjourn the court session.
To date, the Chamber has not published its reasons for the excusal of Ruto’s attendance at trial on the 21st but the defence says that it was Ruto’s constitutional duty to be in the country when the President is away.
By Beth Nyaga-citizennews