Ruto’s secret meeting with UK and US envoys
Deputy President William Ruto met with the US and UK envoys at his Karen Home in Nairobi before leaving for his trial which resumed at the Hague on Thursday.
Reliable sources told the Saturday Nation that Mr Ruto held talks with the US envoy Robert Godec and UK’s Christian Turner at a joint meeting on Tuesday.
The trio are said to have discussed the possibility of Mr Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta, who are facing crimes against humanity charges at the Hague, being tried through video link in a meeting that lasted close to two hours.
The sources, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, said the envoys called on Mr Ruto to prevail upon President Kenyatta to agree to attend his trial through video link “as that was the nearest compromise that the international community could support.”
“The trio discussed the use of video link for two hours. Mr Ruto said he had no problem with the issue but had to consult first,” a source privy to the meeting said.
He said the envoys offered to help the Jubilee leaders navigate the ICC mudwaters after the UN Security Council rejected their plea for deferral, but they were told it was too little too late.
JUBILEE CRITICISM OF UK
On Friday, Mr Ruto’s spokesman David Mugonyi could not confirm or deny that such a meeting took place only saying: “The meeting I am aware of was an official public meeting at Laico Regency.”
It was not however clear whether the meeting had the blessings of President Kenyatta who was at the time in Kuwait attending an investment summit. (READ: President returns from Kuwait)
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr Ruto and radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang are facing crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court following the 2007 post-election violence that left more than 1000 people dead and 600,000 uprooted from their homes.
Mr Ruto left for the Hague for the resumption of his trial on Thursday.
The UK has come under criticism from Jubilee MPs for proposing that President Kenyatta attends his trial through video link. (READ: Jubilee says UK has ill motive for Kenya)
The MPs led by Leader of Majority in Parliament, Mr Aden Duale, on Wednesday criticised the British government over the proposal, saying it was meant to create unnecessary confusion and water down Kenya’s move to push for a deferral of the cases.
“We do not want video link. We want total immunity,” Mr Duale was quoted saying.
The MPs position contradicts an earlier call by the government for the use of video link. Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Mr Macharia Kamau, had on November 4 asked that a clause allowing attendance through “communication technology” be included as part of the amendments to the Rome Statute.
In a letter to Mr Paul Seger, the Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN who was then chairing the UN Working Group on Amendments of the Rome Statute, Mr Kamau had asked for support for the proposed amendment which if accepted, would allow President Kenyatta to attend court sessions via video link from Nairobi.
Some 122 State parties to the Rome Statute meeting in the Hague are expected to discuss the proposals during the conference which began on Thursday.
Kenya has protested over the trial of President Kenyatta saying no sitting head of state and government had ever been charged in court and has been pushing for the postponement of his case until after he leaves office.-nation