Arusha, October 25, 2013 (FH) – For the second time, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague postponed closure of the defence case for Congolese Senator Jean-Pierre Bemba. The ICC also decided on appeal that Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto must attend his trial.

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RWANDAWitness testimony starts in Mugesera trial: The first prosecution witness began testifying Wednesday in the trial of former Rwandan politician Léon Mugesera before the Kigali High Court. Mugesera, who was extradited from Canada in January 2012, is charged with inciting genocide in a November 1992 speech in northern Rwanda. The witness, Iddi Hategekimana, told the court  Mugesera’s speech had been followed by massacres of Tutsis.

ICC End of Bemba defence testimony delayed again: The ICC on Wednesday postponed indefinitely the closure of the defence case for Congolese Senator Jean-Pierre Bemba, who is on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Central African Republic. This is the second time the judges have had to postpone a deadline to end this phase of the trial. They initially set July 19 to close the testimony of the last defence witness, but had to put this back to October 25 because of the slowness of the defence.

ICCRuto must attend his trial: The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court decided Friday that Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto must attend all hearings of his trial for crimes against humanity, which started last month. The appeals judges thus reversed a decision of the lower court which had on June 18 authorized Ruto to be absent from most of the hearings. The appeals decision says that like any accused person Ruto may at any time ask permission to be absent for exceptional reasons, and such requests will be examined on a case by basis. 

NEXT WEEKThe trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto is scheduled to continue next week before the ICC.