The Hague - Judges at the International
Criminal Court (ICC),on Monday adjourned the trial of Kenyan
Vice-President, William Ruto, for a week to allow him to return home and
deal with the hostage crisis at a Nairobi mall that has
left at least 68 people dead.
Ruto and Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, face charges of crimes
against humanity in relation to their alleged role in coordinating a
wave of violence that swept Kenya in the aftermath of the country's
contested 2007 elections.
The court's unusually swift decision was taken during an emergency
session after prosecutors said they had no objection to a short delay in
proceedings, and a representative for the witnesses broke down in tears
in the courtroom, saying that Ruto should
be allowed to attend to the urgent matter.
"In light of the circumstances and the views heard so far, the
chamber decided to excuse Ruto from the proceedings," said Presiding
"For the moment, the excuse is for a period of one week only, subject to any further requests."
Ruto was to catch a plane from the Netherlands at 11 a.m. local time (0900 GMT), said his defence lawyer, Karim Khan.
In requesting his client's immediate release, Khan said the world
would never have accepted the absence of U.S. leaders when the Twin
Towers were struck on Sept. 11, 2001.
"This is Kenya's 9/11," he said.