The Defence Counsel of Deputy President William Ruto has submitted a request to Trial Chamber V(a) for excusal from attending his trial at the International Criminal Court.
According to the Defence, Mr Ruto would like to waive “his right to be physically present at his trial and is content to and fully confident in being represented by counsel only”.
In the request, the Defence “emphasise that Mr Ruto is not seeking an excusal for his own personal convenience or because he is in any way a recalcitrant accused”, noting that he “finds himself subject to two extremely onerous duties”.
The first duty given is “to the Court which includes Mr Ruto’s pursuit for justice and to clear his name” and the second his duty as Deputy President and “obligation to faithfully discharge his constitutional duties”.
According to the press release issued by the ICC, “the final decision on the matter will be made by the Judges of Trial Chamber V(a), who will issue their decision in due course in an impartial manner”.
Mr Ruto is accused alongside journalist Joshua Arap Sang of crimes against humanity committed in the context of the 2007/08 post-election violence.
According to a new provision of the Statute and Rules – “Excusal from presence at trial”, the accused “may submit a written request to the Trial Chamber to be excused and to be represented by counsel only during parts of his or her trial”.