Ruto to skip ICC trial next week for undisclosed reasons

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The International Criminal Court has excused Deputy President William Ruto from attending trials next week.

A brief statement by the presiding judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said that the decision to grant the request was unanimous.

“The Chamber has deliberated on the Ruto request,” Mr Osuji said after a ten-minute adjournment.

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“The chamber unanimously grants the request. Reasons will be given on Monday,” he said.

Submissions on the excusal application was done in private session.

Meanwhile, the prosecution and the victims lawyer wants the proceedings in the Ruto case to continue after a brief break on Friday November 8.

Trial lawyer Anton Steynberg had proposed that that the parties take a brief break and resume after about a week or two.

According to Mr Steynberg, the prosecution will be in a position to bring in three more witnesses before the winter recess on December 13.

“It should be logistically possible to line up three short witnesses before the winter recess,” said Mr Steynberg.

On the other hand if that is not possible, Mr Steynberg said the trials should resume on January 13, 2014.

However, Karim Khan for Mr Ruto opposed the application to have the proceedings continue this year and objected that the case was being treated as a “filler” after the Kenyatta trial was postponed.

According to Mr Khan, the defence team needed time to conduct their own investigations as well as be with their families.

“We would strongly suggest that the interest of Mr Ruto would be best served with the previous calendar we had been led to believe. If the court would be willing to come back on January 13, that would be fine,” said Mr Khan.

Mr Joshua Sang’s lawyer, Katwa Kigen also agreed that the trials adjourn on November 8 as scheduled and resume on January 13, 2014.

However the victims’ lawyer said the proceedings should break for a week or two and then resume before the winter recess.

The victims also want the court to stick to the earlier calendar to have the proceedings resume on January 6, 2013 instead of January 13.

The chamber is yet to make a ruling on the calendar of proceedings-nation

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