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ICC orders Kenya leader's trial to resume next week

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Friday denied a request [text, PDF] by Kenyan deputy president William Ruto [ICC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] to adjourn his trial [case docket] so that he may manage the aftermath of the recent Nairobi shopping mall attack. Trial proceedings were temporarily suspended [JURIST report] on Monday, allowing Ruto to return to Kenya in response to the terrorist attack [AP report] that claimed 72 lives. Ruto requested that the hearing be delayed until mid-October in order for him to properly deal with what he called an "on-going and extremely serious matter of national security." However, the trial has been scheduled to resume on Wednesday, allowing Ruto enough time to attend a memorial service for those who died in the attacks.

Ruto is on trial for three counts of crimes against humanity for allegedly fomenting violence following the 2007 elections, leading to the deaths of at least 1,100 people and the displacement of more than 600,000. Earlier this month Ruto pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to the charges. Also this month Kenya's National Assembly voted to withdraw from the ICC [JURIST report; JURIST op-ed]. In June the ICC conditionally granted Ruto's request [JURIST report] to be excused from parts of his trial. Ruto is the first senior serving politician to appear in an international court. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta [official website] is also charged with crimes against humanity, but his trial is not set to begin until November 12.

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