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ICC grants Kenya VP's request to skip parts of upcoming trial

The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Tuesday conditionally granted the request [press release] of Kenyan Vice President William Ruto [ICC materials; JURIST news archive] to be excused from parts of his upcoming trial. The Trial Chamber, however, will still require Ruto to be present for certain parts of his trial, such as for opening and closing statements and for presentations by victims. The Chamber also stated that this conditional grant is for the purpose of allowing Ruto to continue fulfilling the demanding requirements of his position as vice president. Any violation of the conditions may result in the Chamber's withdrawal of the grant. Ruto's trial is set to begin on September 10.

Ruto is facing trial for crimes against humanity for his alleged involvement in inciting the violence that followed the 2007 Kenyan election [JURIST news archive] which led to more than 1,100 deaths. Also facing trial is Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta [ICC materials]. In May African foreign ministers requested [JURIST report] that Kenyatta and Ruto by tried in Kenya instead of by the ICC after the Kenyan Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) [advocacy website] released a report [JURIST report] connecting Kenyatta and Ruto to the post-election violence. Even with charges for crimes against humanity pending against them, Kenyatta and Ruto were able to win a controversial election [JURIST report] in March. Kenyatta's trial was postponed [JURIST report] and is set to begin on July 9.

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