ICC adjourns trial to allow Kenyan Deputy President to help tackle siege

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Kenyan deputy president William Ruto faces charges of crimes against humanity
Kenyan deputy president William Ruto faces charges of crimes against humanity Photo: REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Judges at the International Criminal Court are allowing Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto to return home for one week so he can help his country's government deal with the attack on the Westgate shopping mall.

Mr Ruto's defence team requested an adjournment in his trial for crimes against humanity on Sunday night. The court agreed this morning.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (L) and his deputy William Ruto pictured in 2010
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (L) and his deputy William Ruto pictured in 2010 Credit: REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/Goran Tomasevic

The Deputy President has been on trial in The Hague since 10 September. He and the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta are accused of orchestrating ethnic violence after Kenya's disputed 2007 presidential election.

In the request for an adjournment, lawyers for Mr Ruto told the court he was needed at home to help with security briefings and consultations.

"Mr Ruto ... is required to return to Kenya to discharge his ordinary constitutional duties," his lawyers wrote.

"Thereafter, Mr Ruto will be required to deal with the aftermath of such a traumatic and tragic event for Kenya."

Kenyatta and Ruto have already been granted the right not to attend every session of the court given the positions they hold. Mr Ruto is expected to travel back to Kenya immediately.