UN state parties endorse Kenyatta, Ruto trial via video link

International Criminal Court (ICC) state members have amended the Rome statute rules to allow President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto to follow their trials via a video link and can be represented by their lawyers in court.

The court’s 122-nation Assembly of States Parties adopted the changes at its annual meeting in the Hague.

HumanIPO reported on Tuesday a committee handling amendments had unanimously approved the United Kingdom’s proposal that sought to have the leaders attend the trial via video link.

Greece and Guatemala, who also supported UK proposal, had moved a motion seeking to amend article 134 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence to allow excusal from presence and the use of technology and lawyers as an alternative.

“We have achieved a fundamental change in how the ICC functions. This is a major victory for the Kenyan team. It is significant in how the ICC engages,” Amina Mohamed, foreign affairs cabinet secretary, said.

She said the Kenyan team came to The Hague with important goals “and we are glad to announce that we have nailed them both”.

Samantha Power, the United States’ ambassador to the UN, said the decision was made “in a manner that appropriately protects the rights and interests of both victims and defendants while allowing the judicial process to proceed without delay”.

The assembly also approved a proposal to barr the ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda from introducing recorded statements in any of the ongoing cases.

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