, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – A day after International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that The Hague based court will not bend its operations to fit Kenya’s politics, Eldoret North Member of Parliament William Ruto maintained that he would attend the trials for his case even if he is elected President.
Ruto who has declared interest to seek the Presidency under the United Republican Party ticket pledged to cooperate fully with the court, adding that he would not allow the Hague proceedings to interfere with his political ambitions.
“I would have no problem going to The Hague and running the affairs of Kenya. We are in an ICT world and I can do many things from the internet to ensure that Kenya is running even as I attend to other issues. We can chew gum and still scale the stairs at the same time,” he said when asked how he would rule Kenya as President while still facing charges at The Hague.
His sentiments followed an announcement made earlier in the week by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda who warned him and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta that they will not be immune from prosecution if elected President.
Speaking during her first tour of Kenya since she took over from Luis Moreno-Ocampo in June, Bensouda was categorical that Kenya’s elections will not be used to reschedule the proceedings against Kenyatta, Ruto, Francis Muthaura and Joshua arap Sang and that The ICC’s time table will continue uninterrupted.
Some high profile world leaders, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan have warned that it might not be a good idea for Kenya to elect people who face such serious charges.
Kenyatta who is also interested in the presidency under The National Alliance party has not publicly commented about Bensouda’s remarks.
The prosecutor has been in the country since Monday and is expected to visit areas worst hit by the post election violence in Rift Valley to hold talks with victims.
She has since held talks with President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and other top government officials including members of the Cabinet sub committee on ICC.
On party alliances, Ruto said that URP will only work with like minded partners.
“We are going to work with like minded partiers but in a structured coalition process and URP is getting ready as a party to have candidates all the way from the President to the country representatives,” he stated.