Kenyatta 'distressed' as Ruto's trial begins
NAIROBI — Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is "distressed" by the start of an international trial of his deputy for crimes against humanity, his spokesman said on Thursday. Vice-president William Ruto pleaded not guilty on Tuesday at the start of his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, where he has been accused of organising a campaign of ethnic killings "to satisfy his thirst for power" after disputed 2007 elections. Mr Kenyatta, Mr Ruto’s former political foe turned ally, begins his own trial at the court on November 12.
The president was "deeply saddened" by the trial opening. Mr Ruto and his co-accused, Kenyan radio boss Joshua arap Sang, stand accused of stoking the worst violence in the country since independence in 1963.
Last week, legislators in Kenya became the first in the world to approve moves to withdraw recognition of the 10-year-old court which, so far, has only one conviction under its belt. Last week, the Kenyan National Assembly and Senate voted to withdraw the country from the Rome Statute, which created the ICC, a move supported by many African countries, who contend that the court was only targeting African leaders and turning a "blind eye and deaf ear" on similar abuses by western leaders.
Mr Ruto and Mr Sang, who also pleaded not guilty, each face three counts of murder, deportation and persecution after a wave of violence swept through Kenya in 2007-2008, leaving at least 1,100 dead and more than 600,000 homeless. The cases have been mired in accusations of witness intimidation — allegations dismissed by the defence even though several witnesses have pulled out.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Business DaySimilar Stories