Anxiety as Kenyans await ICC ruling

Kenyans across the country are anxiously waiting for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to deliver its ruling later on Tuesday on the no-case-to-answer motion filed by Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang.

The ICC trio judge bench is expected to determine if Ruto and his co-accused Sang have a case to answer in relation to the 2007/2008 post election skirmishes in which more than 1,200 people were killed and over 600,000 others displaced.

The ruling, which will be delivered at around 7 p.m. local time will determine whether Ruto who has been charged with crimes against humanity together with Sang for helping to orchestrate a wave of deadly violence after contested 2007 presidential poll.

According to the report, the case has dragged since 2011.

Ruto is seeking a no-case-to-answer verdict as well as an acquittal, while Sang’s defence team is pushing for a termination of the case.

They each face three charges: murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population and persecution.

Anxiety has gripped residents in Ruto’s home turf of Rift Valley, with majority of residents expressing hope that the two will be freed for lack of tangible evidence.

“The moment of truth has finally come and a decision by the ICC trial chamber that will favour the defence is what we are expecting.

“We are praying for a victory for Ruto and Sang,’’ David Soi said in a telephone from Eldoret, western Kenya.

“Let the truth come out, I know the two are innocent, and today’s ruling will vindicate them,’’ said Aaron Mutai from Kericho, also western Kenya.

Ruto and Sang, whose allies have held a series of meetings to strategise on how to respond to Tuesday’s ruling, have been cooperating with the court by attending court proceedings.

The ICC trial chamber will not hold an open court session Tuesday, but will instead communicate its ruling through email to the defence parties and the media.

The defence teams argued that the ICC Prosecutor had failed to prove that there was an organised network that masterminded the 2007/2008 Post Election Violence, and insist the skirmishes were spontaneous after a contested presidential poll outcome.

Ruto and Sang also argued that the evidence of six key witnesses had been ruled inadmissible after they withdrew it.

The ICC judges will either reject or accept the no-case-to-answer motion filed by the defence teams seeking to terminate their case at the prosecutor’s level.

If the judges rule in favour of Ruto and Sang, it will mark the end of the Kenyan case at the ICC. But if they reject it, it will mean they have a case to answer.

According to the ICC, more than 1,200 people were killed, 3,500 injured and up to 600,000 forcibly displaced in the violence that followed the December 2007 elections.

There were also hundreds of rapes, and at least 100,000 properties were destroyed.

Charges against Ruto and Sang were confirmed on Jan. 23, 2012, while those against President Kenyatta, ex-Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, were dropped.
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