THE HAGUE: Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto will go on trial for crimes against humanity in September in connection with deadly post-election violence in 2007-08, the International Criminal Court said Monday.
“The trial chamber decided to set the opening on September 10 in order to allow the defence sufficient time to carry out its preparations,” The Hague-based ICC said in a statement.
Ruto, 46, faces three counts of crimes against humanity for his role in deadly violence that erupted in Kenya after elections in late 2007.
Judges last month nullified a trial date set for May 28 and held a hearing to check on the status of preparations for the trial to which Ruto, elected as the east African country’s deputy leader in April, pledged his full cooperation.
Ruto’s lawyers asked the court to postpone the trial until at least November in order for them to prepare properly, while prosecutors wanted to add six new witnesses to their list.
After looking at the submissions, a three-judge bench set down the new trial date, while at the same time giving prosecutors the thumbs-up to add two witnesses to their list.
Ruto will go on trial with his co-accused, radio boss Joshua arap Sang.
Some 1,100 people died in bloodshed after the election over allegations of vote rigging, shattering Kenya’s image as a beacon of regional stability.
Judges in early March also postponed newly inaugurated Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s own trial for crimes against humanity over the violence until July 9.
Both Ruto and Kenyatta deny the charges.