ICC rejects Ruto’s appeal on trial venue
Deputy President William Ruto has suffered another blow after the International Criminal Court dismissed his request to reconsider a judges’ decision on the venue of trial.
The ICC’s Presidency threw out a joint application by Mr Ruto and co-accused Joshua Sang saying it did not have powers to reconsider a decision arrived at by the Plenary of judges.
“In the present case, after consultation with the judges who were present at the Plenary of 11 July 2013, I has been decided that a reconsideration of the Plenary Decision of 23 August 2013 by the plenary of judges is not warranted notwithstanding the issues that are being raised being raised by the Defence in their application, which are similar to those raised by Judge Eboue-Osuji in the motion to vacate the Plenary Vote of July 2013, The application is dismissed,’ the court said.
Last month, a plenary of ICC judges rejected the defence application to have the case heard in Kenya or Tanzania.
Mr Ruto and Mr Sang wanted the Plenary to ‘vacate’ the vote and the judges to retake their vote saying the defence submissions had not been considered before the first one was taken.
However, the Presidency said the accused did not have any legal basis to make such a request.
“There is no legal basis in the statutory instruments of the Court for a party to challenge a decision of the plenary of judges. It must therefore be determined whether the Presidency, or alternatively the plenary of the judges, is empowered to reconsider and/or to vacate a decision of the plenary judges proprio motu,’ the statement said.
The plenary failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required for the relocation of hearings on July 11, 2013 ending the possibility of the two having their case moved to Nairobi or Arsuha.
Mr Ruto and Mr Sang’s trial in The Hague opens on September 10.
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