, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) will hold a status conference on Wednesday to discuss Deputy President William Ruto’s application seeking excusal from continuous physical presence during his trial.
Ruto and his co-accused Joshua arap Sang will not be required in court during the 2.30pm (Hague time) status conference.
The two are however expected in court on January 16 when their case is set to resume.
Parties in Kenya Case I have been asked to make their submissions regarding the status conference before Wednesday at 11am, Hague time.
Ruto submitted his application after the 12th Session of the Assembly of States Parties passed a rule allowing persons holding senior government positions to be tried in absentia.
Although Trial Chamber V (a) has not issued a full decision on the request, it ordered Ruto to continue being present until a verdict is made.
Ruto was supposed to resume his trial on Monday but it was postponed to January 16 by the court.
Last week, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda urged the judges to reject the application which she said amounts to blanket excusal.
She also said if Ruto is granted the application, it will contradict principles of equality of all accused persons during trial.
Bensouda further termed Ruto’s applications for excusal as flimsy. She explained that not all duties that Ruto undertakes as the Deputy President amount to extraordinary functions.
Bensouda has accused Deputy President Ruto of using flimsy excuses to seek excusal from attending his trial physically.
She for example said that receiving dignitaries and opening roads are not extraordinary duties and advised that Ruto can delegate some duties to other competent leaders to ensure he is present in court.
The case against Ruto and Sang has been adjourned three times over late presentation of prosecution witnesses with the latest being this month.