, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 16 – The trial against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang resumed on Thursday morning after the Christmas and New Year break.
The trial will continue in the absence of Ruto after the International Criminal Court (ICC) judges on Wednesday evening allowed him to hold brief for President Uhuru Kenyatta who is in Angola attending the Great Lakes summit.
The judges however directed that he be present on Monday untill Wednesday to honor a directive requiring his presence during the first five days after a judicial break.
Trial Chamber V (a) presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji announced that Ruto had been conditionally excused to attend his trial.
Ruto’s presence will no longer be crucial except when the judges direct for his presence and during other conditions outlined by the judges during the Wednesday Status Conference.
He will be present when victims present their views and concerns in person and during the entirety of the delivery of the judgment.
His presence will also be required in the entirety of the sentencing hearing – if applicable – and the entirety of the sentencing, if pertinent.
Ruto was also asked to file a waiver as required in Rule 134 that allows persons holding senior government positions to be tried in absentia.
The trial against Ruto and Sang adjourned prematurely on November 22 after the prosecution failed to produce any of the three witnesses listed to appear at the time.
The trial that kicked off on September 10 was also postponed from Monday to Thursday over lateness in presenting the ninth prosecution witness.
Before the trial adjourned, eight prosecution witnesses presented their evidence against Ruto and Sang.
The prosecution lost its bid to amend the charges facing Ruto and Sang to include crimes committed on December 30 and 31, 2007.
The two are currently facing trial on charges of crimes committed between January 1 and 4, 2008.
The trial of President Uhuru Kenyatta, also facing crimes against humanity charges for allegedly planning and financing the post election violence was scheduled to kick off on February 5 but the fate of his case is unknown after the prosecution said it does not have sufficient evidence to prove his criminal responsibility.
Trial Chamber V (b) is expected to make a ruling on the prosecutor’s application in which she is seeking for more time to gather more evidence.
So far ICC has dropped charges against former Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey, former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali and former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura.