The Hague - A group of 20 victims of post-election violence
that rocked Kenya almost six years ago have withdrawn from The Hague-based case
against Vice President William Ruto, the International Criminal Court said on
"It is clear that 20 individuals...," told their
lawyer before the ICC "that they no longer wish to continue participating
in the present proceedings," the court's judges said.
They added: "The decision to withdraw could have been
motivated by a range of factors including security concerns."
The court's confirmation comes after it received a letter in
early June by 93 victims who allegedly said they wanted to stop participation
in the two Kenyan cases before the ICC.
Ruto and Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta are both charged
with crimes against humanity in connection with 2007-8 post-poll violence that
left over 1 000 people dead and several hundred thousand displaced.
Ruto went on trial in September, becoming the
highest-ranking serving official to do so before the ICC.
Kenyatta's trial was due to start on Tuesday, but has now
been postponed to February.
In the letter dated 5 June, the 93 victims of violence in
Turbo town in western Kenya said they no longer wish to take part in the trial.
At least four people were murdered in Turbo as a result of
the attacks in late 2007, the court heard previously.
Of the 93, 47 were victims in the Ruto trial.
Seven victims changed their minds after the letter was
written and will now continue to be represented in the case.
Twenty other victims could not be contacted and were
therefore considered to still be taking part, the judges added.
In all, some 628 victims are scheduled to have their case
represented before the court by their Kenyan lawyer Wilfred Nderitu, said ICC spokesperson
Fadi El Abdallah.
Ruto, 46, and Kenyan radio boss Joshua arap Sang, 38, stand
accused of stoking the worst violence in the east African country since
independence in 1963.
The ICC, the world's first independent court set up to try
the worst crimes, allows victims to take part in trials independent from the
prosecution or the defence.