The Hague, Netherlands | AFP
Deputy Kenyan President William Ruto was to learn later Tuesday if war crimes judges will throw out a case against him for his role in post-election bloodshed which left some 1,300 people dead.
The judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) were to file a written decision in a bid by Ruto and his co-accused radio boss Joshua arap Sang to have charges dropped.
Ruto, 49, and Sang, 40, have both denied three charges of crimes against humanity — namely murder, forcible deportation and persecution — arising out of Kenya’s disputed elections in late December 2007 and their violent aftermath in early 2008.
Prosecutors say more than 1,300 people died and some 600,000 others were left homeless in Kenya’s worst wave of violence since independence from Britain in 1963.
The case is being keenly watched in Kenya, which has led a high-profile campaign against the ICC among African nations, accusing the tribunal of bias against the continent.
Several African nations have threatened to walk out of the court, set up in 2002 to try to the world’s worst crimes.
The Kenyan government has long argued the charges should be dismissed following a similar case against Ruto’s erstwhile bitter rival and now Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In a major setback for the ICC, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda abandoned the case against Kenyatta in late 2014.
The prosecution closed its arguments in Ruto’s main trial in September 2015, and the defence has yet to start.
Instead Ruto’s defence team filed an unusual separate motion calling for the charges to be dismissed, arguing the ICC prosecutors had failed to prove his role in the convulsion of post-polls violence.