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ICC gives some relief to Kenyan VP

June 18, 2013 at 10:45 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, June 18 (UPI) -- The International Criminal Court said Tuesday it granted a request from the Kenyan vice president to be excused from parts of his war crimes trial.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto face charges at the ICC for crimes committed during 2007 election violence in Kenya.

The ICC said Tuesday the vice president is excused from being physically present during parts of the trial, scheduled to begin Sept. 10. He's required to be present for opening and closing statements and during witness testimony.

"He is also required to be present during the delivery of judgment in the case and, if applicable, sentencing and reparations and any other attendance that may be ordered by the [trial] chamber," a court statement said.

A Kenyan truth and reconciliation committee accused Kenyatta and Ruto of planning and financing the post-election violence. The committee was set up to investigate alleged human rights abuses committed in Kenya from independence in 1963 to 2008.

Both men deny the ICC charges. Kenyatta is slated to appear before the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Netherlands, in July.

The international treaty that created the ICC does not offer immunity based on official capacity.

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