Press Release: 13 December 2013

Ruto and Sang case: The Appeals Chamber dismisses the Prosecutor’s appeal related to the temporal scope of the charges


Situation: Situation in the Republic of Kenya
Case: The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang

Today, 13 December 2013, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) dismissed the Prosecutor’s appeal against the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber II rejecting her request to amend the temporal scope the charges against William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang.

On 23 January 2012, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II had confirmed the charges against the two accused, inter alia, for crimes against humanity allegedly committed between 1 January 2008 and 4 January 2008 in the greater Eldoret area. The Prosecutor sought an amendment to the temporal framework of the charges in that area to include the 30 and 31 of December 2007.

In today’s decision, the Appeals Chamber considered, by majority, Judge Anita Ušacka dissenting, that, once the trial has commenced, it is no longer possible to amend or to add to the charges. According to the Regulations of the Court, a Trial Chamber may, during the trial, only modify the legal characterisation of the facts however without exceeding the facts and circumstances described in the charges. Noting that, in the present case, opening statements were made on 10 September 2013 and the first witness was heard on 17 September 2013, and further noting that the Prosecutor did not request a postponement of the trial, the Appeals Chamber concluded that the appeal is inadmissible and dismissed the Prosecutor’s request.

In her dissent, Judge Ušacka emphasised that the Prosecutor sought an amendment of the charges before the commencement of trial and found that the Prosecutor’s appeal should have been considered on the merits.

Mr Ruto and Mr Sang are accused of crimes against humanity (murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population and persecution) allegedly committed in Kenya in the context of the 2007-2008 post-election violence. Opening statements were made on 10 September before the ICC Trial Chamber V(a).

The ICC is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. 

For further information on this case, please click here.

Decision on the Prosecutor's appeal against the “Decision on the Prosecution's requestto amend the updated document containing the charges pursuant to article 61(9)of the Statute" (including Dissenting Opinion of Judge Anita Ušacka)

For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected].

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