ICC: Kenyan ministers face war crimes charges

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The first hearing in the ‘Ocampo Six’ case opened in The Hague on Thursday. A former Kenyan minister appeared before a packed courtroom at the International Criminal Court ICC today. This first hearing in the Ocampo Six case will determine whether he and other officials should stand trial for masterminding Kenya's deadly post-election violence in 2007-08.

A potential presidential candidate in 2012, William Ruto appeared in the dock with two other officials two days after the court denied Kenya's appeal to have the cases declared inadmissible.

Mr Ruto, who served as agriculture and then as higher-education minister, faces charges of crimes against humanity along with former industrialisation minister Henry Kosgey and radio executive Joshua arap Sang.

All three men supported then opposition candidate Raila Odinga, now Kenya's prime minister, in the disputed December 2007 polls.

Second hearings A second set of hearings will begin on September 21 for three other former officials, including Uhuru Kenyatta, current finance minister and son of Kenya's founding president.

Mr Kenyatta will appear before ICC judges along with two other allies of Mr Odinga's rival in the 2007 elections, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki - public service head Francis Muthaura and former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali.

The charges against the six men include murder, deportation, rape, inhumane acts, persecution and torture.

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