The International Criminal Court (ICC) has exempted Deputy President William Ruto from attending some proceedings.
Trial Chamber V (A) judges said Mr Ruto would be required to be present in person during the opening and closing statements of all parties, participants and victims in the trial set to begin on September 10 at The Hague.
“Permission granted Mr Ruto to not be continuously present was strictly for purposes of accommodating the demanding functions of his office as deputy Head of State of Kenya and not merely to gratify the dignity of his own occupation of that office,” a statement from the Hague said.
Mr Ruto’s request was opposed by Judge Olga Herrera Carbuccia.
The order said the deputy President would also be required to be present during the delivery of judgment and, if applicable, sentencing and reparations and any other attendance that may be ordered by the Chamber.
The charges against Mr Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang were confirmed on January 23 last year. The two are facing murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population and persecution in relation to 2007/08 post-election violence. President Uhuru Kenyatta is also facing charges at ICC.
“The Trial Chamber retains judicial control over the accused during the entirety of the proceedings and violations of any of these conditions may result in the revocation of the excusal and or the issuance of an arrest warrant as appropriate,” warned the judges.
In issuing the exemption to Mr Ruto, the judges cautioned that the Rome Statute does not afford any immunity based on official capacity.
The judges, except Judge Carbuccia, said Mr Ruto had to take effective actions in good faith to ensure that witnesses and victims are not intimidated.
The previous summons to appear issued on March, 8 2011 still bar Mr Ruto from contacting victims of the alleged and witnesses.