AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto must appear in person for certain sessions of his trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, but can otherwise carry out his official duties, the court said on Tuesday.
Ruto and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, elected on a joint ticket in March, face charges of orchestrating violence after the previous election five years ago, in which 1,200 people were killed. Both deny the charges.
Ruto’s trial for crimes against humanity is scheduled to begin on September 10 and while he had promised to cooperate with the court, he had also asked to participate by video link.
In a statement on Tuesday, the court said Ruto must be present for the opening and closing statements of all parties and participants, and when victims present their views and concerns in person. He must also attend the delivery of the judgment and, if applicable, the sentencing.
“The Rome Statute does not afford any immunity based on official capacity,” it said.
“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,” the court said.
Reporting by Sara Webb; Editing by Alistair Lyon