, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 9 – Deputy President William Ruto departed Kenya on Monday morning to stand trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Ruto left at 8.15am accompanied by several Members of Parliament and he is expected at The Hague at around 5pm Kenya time.
His co-accused Joshua arap Sang travelled at the weekend, and was expected to be present for a Status Conference scheduled for Monday at The Hague.
A press conference is scheduled for 1pm (Kenyan) to be addressed by ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, Court Registrar Herman von Hebel and Victims Legal Representative Wilfred Nderitu.
Ruto and Sang’s defence teams will also address the media at the same briefing.
Even as Ruto arrives at The Hague ready for his trial, President Uhuru Kenyatta who is set to stand trial on November 12, on Sunday pledged to continue cooperating with the court but made it clear that at no point will the two be out of the country at the same time.
“I speak now not as an accused person but as the President of the sovereign Republic of Kenya. If you want us to continue to co-operate with the ICC process let me make it crystal clear that when Ruto is at The Hague I will be here and when I am at The Hague he will be here,” he declared.
According to the Trial Chamber’s hearing schedule both Ruto and Kenyatta are to attend their trials concurrently between November 12 and December 13.
Kenyatta said as much as they are will to be present for the trial, the affairs of the country must run smoothly.
The schedule indicated that Ruto and Sang will have their trials held from 9:30am to 1pm starting October 10 while Kenyatta’s sessions will be held in the afternoons starting from November 12 at 2:30pm to 6pm.
The initial schedule indicated that Ruto and Sang’s trial would go on until October 4 when the court would take 10 days off and then continue until November 1.
Ruto who had requested to be exempted from continuous hearing will have to be present for all the sessions until the Appeals Chamber gives its full ruling on the matter.
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