Ruto, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and National Broadcast Director Joshua Sang are suspected of playing a role in post-election violence in Kenya in 2007 and Ruto appealed to let most of the proceedings go on without him because of his national obligations in Kenya.
The ICC ruled Friday that Ruto's situation would be assessed on a case-by-case basis and said some absences could take place only under "exceptional circumstances."
"The rights of the accused must be fully ensured in his or her absence, in particular through representation by counsel," he court said.
Kenya is still reeling from a terrorist attack by al-Shabaab militants on the upscale Westgate shopping center in Nairobi. About 60 civilaians, six soldiers and five attackers died in the September siege.
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