THE HAGUE, June 3 (Xinhua) -- The trial against Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto for alleged "crimes against humanity" will start on September 10, the International Criminal Court (ICC) said Monday.
The ICC said in a statement that the judges have decided to set the opening date later than initially planned, "in order to allow the defence sufficient time to carry out preparations."
Kenya's newly-elected President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are required to be present before the Hague-based court to answer for charges of alleged crimes against humanity committed during Kenya's post-election violence in 2007/2008. More than 1,100 people died in the violence. Both leaders deny the charges.
African Union leaders, during a summit in the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Ababa in late May, voiced rejection to the ICC's intervention in Kenya.
In a letter sent last month to the UN Security Council, officials argued that renewed violence could break out in Kenya if the two leaders are put on trial in The Hague.
In addition, the defence of Ruto requested the trial to begin in East Africa, instead of the ICC's headquarters in The Hague.
"But such thing is decided by the plenary assembly of the ICC, so the judges will have to come together to make the final decision," spokesperson of the ICC Fadi El Abdallah told Xinhua.