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Kenya

ICC Adjourns Ruto Trial In Wake Of Terrorist Attack

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The ICC on Monday gave Ruto a one-week break to allow him execute his Constitutional duties.

Defence lawyer Karim Khan, on Sunday urgently requested that, “pursuant to Article 64 (6) (f) of the Rome Statute, the Trial Chamber adjourn the trial proceedings in this case in order that Mr. Ruto can return to Kenya to deal with an ongoing and extremely serious matter of national security.”

“In view of the seriousness of the situation and the fact that it is ongoing, the Defence respectfully prays that a decision is rendered on this request today on an expedited and urgent basis. In the alternative, the Defence requests that an oral hearing be heard on this request tomorrow morning at the Trial Chamber’s earliest convenience, including before the start of the normal court sitting schedule,” added Khan.

He said as the Trial Chamber is no doubt aware, there is an ongoing terrorist attack taking place in Nairobi and that according to the latest reports, scores of people have been killed and an unknown number of people are being held hostage in a Nairobi shopping centre.

“Clearly, the Kenyan government is actively engaged in this ongoing matter of national security, is using all its resources to bring the stand off to an end and is preparing to deal with the aftermath of this terrible event,” the lawyer submitted.

“The attack which started yesterday (Saturday) and continues to unfold is, regrettably in today’s world, an example of the situations which form part of the normal state affairs which fall within the portfolio of a country’s deputy Head of State. Under the Kenyan Constitution, the President is not only the Head of State and Government, but the Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces and the Deputy President is the principal assistant of the President.”

Khan said in the immediacy, Mr. Ruto, as the serving Deputy President of Kenya, is required to return to Kenya to discharge his ordinary constitutional duties which include participating in security briefings and consultations and involvement in other ongoing and very sensitive national security investigations the details of which cannot be gone into in this filing.

Thereafter, Mr. Ruto will be required to deal with the aftermath of such a traumatic and tragic event for Kenya including attending funerals and other affairs of state.

Khan further requested that the Trial Chamber adjourn the trial proceedings in this case until such time as the security situation in Kenya resolves itself or an order of the Trial Chamber is issued.

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