The Trial Chamber in the Ruto/Sang case has asked participants to submit observations on the modalities that need to happen for a change of venue of the trial to take place. This is part of preparation for a status conference that will be held before trial. I outlined some of these modalities in this post last month.
Although the Defence Teams in the Kenyatta/Muthaura case had already sought a change of venue and made the application to the presidency, it is only recently (24 January 2013) that the Ruto/Sang defence made a similar joint request. I asked the question in this blog post last month whether, if the Kenyatta/Muthaura application was successful, the result could be 2 trials going on simultaneously at The Hague and in East Africa and whether this result was practical (given that the same 3 judges sit in both trial benches). The Ruto/Sang defence evidently was already thinking about this and they’ve now filed their application to have the trial moved to the same venue as the Kenyatta/Muthaura case. The Trial Chamber has asked other trial participants for their views on the issue. This will be an interesting ruling from the ICC when it comes out: do they hold the 2 trials in the same venue? Could they hold one in Kenya and another in Tanzania? If they refuse either application, will it mean that for practical purposes they must also refuse the second application?