The ongoing trial of Deputy President William Ruto at The Hague has been adjourned for a week to allow him come back home to help deal with the Nairobi shopping mall hostage crisis.
Mr Ruto’s defence team had on Sunday requested for at least two weeks leave to allow him deal with the aftermath of the Westgate Mall attack that had left about 62 people dead and scores injured.
However, the prosecution opposed Mr Ruto’s request to be given more than a week’s break.
“ICC Judges have decided to adjourn the Ruto and Sang trial, not continuing to hear the testimony of 536 in the absence of Mr Ruto,” said ICC in a statement.
By the time we went to press, the rescue effort to free hostages being held by terrorists was still ongoing.
The deputy president landed in Nairobi on Monday evening.
The court said the trial had been adjourned pending either the Appeals Chamber’s decision on the defence’s urgent request or the expiration of the one-week excusal period, whichever comes earlier.
On June 18th, the Trial Chamber V(a) had excused Mr Ruto from being continuously physically present at trial but appear only for specific hearings.
However, the prosecutor appealed against the decision and the Appeals Chamber suspended the trial judges verdict, pending the outcome of the appeal.