, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 6 – Deputy President William Ruto is preparing to travel to The Hague by end of this week to be present when his trial resumes on January 13, 2014.
A source told Capital FM News that Ruto is making plans to be there by the weekend so that he’s present in court as required.
Ruto was compelled to travel to The Hague after Trial Chamber V (a) rejected his application on December 16 seeking to be exempted from continuous attendance.
His application was informed by an amendment made at the 12th Session of the Assembly of State Parties to Article 134 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
Article 134 permits excusal from physical attendance and the use of video technology for a sitting president, deputy or any other government official performing extra-ordinary functions. Such persons shall be represented by counsel.
Ruto’s application through his lawyer Karim Khan QC was rejected by the ICC judges who said the application was not made on time.
The case against Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang adjourned prematurely on November 22 after the prosecution failed to present any of the three prosecution witnesses that it had lined up to call.
Out of the about 30 prosecution witnesses lined up to testify against Ruto and Sang, only eight have so far given their evidence to the court.
Since the trial against the Ruto and Sang started, there have been two adjournments due to failure by the prosecution to present witnesses.
The case adjourned again after commencement of the trial on September 10 when the prosecution failed to present its first witness.
Whereas the defence teams of Ruto and Sang allege that the prosecution has no case but coached witnesses to fix them, the prosecution claims that its witnesses are being intimidated.
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has on several occasions explained that some of her witnesses had recanted their evidence while others had admitted that they had lied forcing them to be withdrawn from the lists.
In other instances, she complained that witnesses withdrew from the case over fear for their lives and their families.
As the trial resumes next Monday, the prosecutor has also lost her bid to add more charges against Ruto and Sang after Appeal’s Chamber in denying the application explained that charges cannot be amended when a trial is underway.
Bensouda wanted to be allowed to include crimes committed on December 30 and 31, 2007.
Ruto and Sang are currently facing trial on charges of crimes committed between January 1 and 4, 2008, a time when deadly violence broke out in parts of the country after the disputed presidential poll between former President Mwai Kibaki and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Following the violence that left over 1,000 people dead and over 650,000 others displaced, the ICC launched investigations against six Kenyans among them former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali, former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and former Industrialization Minister Henry Kosgey whose charges were dropped.