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The Prosecutor vs William Ruto and Joshua Sang

On March 31st, 2010, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) responded favourably to the Prosecutor’s request to open an investigation into the situation in the Republic of Kenya in relation to the 2007-2008 post-election violence in that country.

Indeed, general elections were held in Kenya in 2007 opposing on one hand the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) led by Mr. Raila Odinga and Mr. William Ruto and on the other the Party of National Unity (PNU) led by former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and current President Uhuru Kenyatta.

It would appear that the results of this election, bringing Mr. Mwai Kibaki to the head of the Kenyan Republic, have led to widespread violence throughout the country and exacerbated ethnic tensions, particularly between the Kalenjin and Kikuyu tribes.

According to the conclusion of the investigation conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office, the Rift Valley was the epicentre of violence planned and coordinated by Mr. Ruto, Mr. Sang and Mr. Kosgey. The official tally lists more than 700 deaths in the region, 600,000 displaced people and countless wounded.

Mr. Ruto was one of the 5 most prominent members of the MDO Party, belonging to what had been called the “Pentagon”. Mr. Sang was a radio host on a national channel considered pro-MDO. According to the findings of the investigation, the defendants, along with Mr. Kosgey, had set up a network to drive out supporters of the PNU movement and establish the Rift Valley as an MDO stronghold. After the victory of candidate Kibaki in the 2007 general elections, the network reportedly implemented the plan that had been decided by the defendants and Mr Kogsey.

After investigating this situation, the ICC Prosecutor’s Office has retained 6 counts of crimes against humanity against Mr. Ruto and Mr. Sang. However, in a decision dated April 5th, 2016, the Trial Chamber concluded that, on the one hand, there was insufficient corroborating evidence that the defendants had set up a network for the purpose of committing the acts of which they were accused and, on the other hand, there had been incidents that had impeded the proper administration of justice. It is in this context that the Paul Guicherou case was opened.

This summary of the facts of this case and the proceedings is only proposed for informational purposes, does not engage Dome in any way and cannot replace the careful reading of the judgments and orders of the case.