Saturday, 26 October 2013

ICC hardens on Ruto’s trial attendance

ICC hardens on Ruto

After African Presidents mounting pressure on the International Criminal Court (ICC), the court’s appeals Chamber has today unanimously reserved the decision and criteria for the physical absence of the tried person from the trial proceedings.

This discretion comes under article 63(1), which states that “[t]he accused shall be present during the trial” which comes at the time when Kenya’s Deputy President William Samoei Ruto who faces trial over the 2007 post election violence, requested to be excused from being physically present continuously throughout the trial.

Reading the summary of the decision, presiding Judge in this appeal, Judge Sang-Hyun Song held that before granting an accused excuse from physical presence at trial, the possibility of alternative measures must be considered, including but not limited to changes to the trial schedule or temporary adjournment.

Furthermore, any absence should be considered on a case-by-case basis and be limited to that which is strictly necessary. Finally, the rights of the accused must be fully ensured in his or her absence, in particular through representation by counsel.

In June 18, 2013,, the ICC ruled that Deputy President William Ruto did not have to attend all sessions of his trial in the Hague because of his state responsibilities but recently the Kenyan leader and his co-accused former broadcaster, Joshua Arap Sang have had appear for trial after ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda reversed the earlier appeal.

Rwanda among many African countries and the African Union have put pressure on the ICC to reconsider its approach to justice for African leaders and President Paul Kagame has stated that the court has been using selective justice to run its business.

ICC hardens on Ruto’s trial attendance


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