Prosecutor Florence Darques-Lane said she was not opposed to a trial in ten months' time, but asked the judges to make their decision “regardless of the date of the election”. She also urged them to ensure that “regardless of the result of the election, they will appear for trial”.
The two are accused of crimes against humanity for their alleged role in violence which rocked the country after the last presidential election in December 2007.
Only victims' representative Sureta Chana opposed postponing the trial for so long, saying that victims have already been waiting five years for justice. “They want the date of the trial as soon as possible,” she told the court. “I think there is a bit of impatience on the part of people who are still suffering.”
At the start of the hearing, Ruto's lawyers expressed regret at Sunday's death in a helicopter crash of Kenya's Internal Security Minister George Saitoti, adding that he was a potential witness in the trial.