ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda tightened the legal case against Deputy President William Ruto, suggesting three weeks of continuous sittings as opposed to the two weeks Rutoâ€™s defence team had requested.
If granted, this will ensure Ruto stays away from public duty for longer periods than he had earlier wanted, a development which may complicate running of government business as President Kenyatta will also be subjected to the same conditionalities.
The three week submission from the prosecution is to allow the court to hear witness testimonies without interruptions, and with the accused (Ruto) being in attendance throughout the sessions.
â€œAs a principle, the Prosecution submits that the Chamber should strive to avoid situations where witnesses are forced to remain in The Hague for a lengthy period of time, away from their family and their professional activities, until their testimony can be completed,â€ she said.
While the countryâ€™s mainstream press has continued to create the impression that the ICC cases will crumble any time soon, the prosecution is said to be confident that the witnesses remaining will sustain the charges levelled against both Ruto and Kenyatta.
Defence team for Mr Ruto has been trying to get CORD-friendly â€˜witnessesâ€™ to testify for the Deputy President as it is believed that most of the prosecution witnesses were PNU-allied (now TNA) government functionaries, and sympathisers, who took Ruto, then ODM stalwart, to the Hague.
The trials next month will be the first time both Ruto and Uhuru will meet their accusers in court. The third accused, journalist Sang, is a â€˜small fishâ€™ the Hague will release on compassionate grounds, so we hope!