The Hague - Proceedings against Kenyan Deputy President
William Ruto were due to open Tuesday at the International Criminal Court in
The Hague, in the first trial of crimes against humanity involving a sitting
leader of government.
Ruto, 46, along with co-accused Joshua Sang, a radio
journalist, are accused of orchestrating crimes including murder and the forced
displacement of people during ethnic violence that followed the disputed 2007
election in the east African nation.
The prosecution and defence teams were expected to give
their opening statements on the first day of the trial, which is taking place
at the world's only permanent court for war crimes.
Victims of the violence - which claimed more than 1 000
lives and displaced more than half a million people - were also to be given a
chance to present their side.
In November, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, 51, will also
stand trial at the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity for his alleged
involvement in the post election violence.
Both leaders deny the charges brought against them.
While Ruto and Kenyatta were on opposing sides five years
ago, they have since reconciled and ran on a joint ticket this year, in Kenya's
first election since the nation-wide bloodshed.
Voters gave Kenyatta and Ruto a first-round win in March,
putting them into the highest offices in the country.
Last week, Kenya's parliament passed a motion calling for
the country to withdraw from the ICC.
The move comes amid growing anti-ICC sentiment across the
continent, which once voiced strong support for a global court to bring an end