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Ruto wants to skip most of ICC trial

15 May 2013, 10:18

Amsterdam - Deputy President William Ruto asked international war crimes judges Tuesday if he can skip most of his trial and attend only its opening and closing sessions, and any other sessions judges deem particularly necessary.

At a hearing at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Ruto said he is seeking to balance his political duties and his responsibility to answer the charges against him.

Ruto is charged together with journalist Joshua Arap Sang of alleged murder, forcible deportation and persecution of supporters of political opponents in the country's 2007 presidential election.

"For the avoidance of any doubt, I want to say to the court that I have cooperated with the prosecutor," he said. I have "submitted to jurisdiction of this court when required, and will, without any plea or contradiction, do so in the future."

Judges are to set a date for Ruto and Sang's trial after the hearing.

Ruto said Tuesday he was a victim of a "conspiracy of lies choreographed by networks obviously against truth and justice."

Ruto's trial was due to start this month, but judges have postponed that after defense lawyers protested they haven't been given enough time to prepare. They are seeking a November start date.

Presiding Judge Kuniko Ozaki told Ruto at the end of Tuesday's hearing he did not need to remain in the Netherlands for the continuation of the hearing on Wednesday.

- AP


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