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International Criminal Court starts post-election violence trial of Kenya deputy president

The trial of Kenya's deputy president has opened at the International Criminal court on charges of orchestrating deadly violence in the aftermath of his country's disputed 2007 election.

William Ruto, wearing a dark suit and striped tie, looked confident as the case opened Tuesday with Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji outlining the background of the proceedings.

Ruto and broadcaster Joshua Sang are both accused of murder, deportation and persecution. They insist they are innocent.

The case is a critical test for the ICC to demonstrate it can successfully prosecute an African leader. In November, Kenya's president Uhuru Kenyatta will stand trial on similar charges.

Prosecutors have complained of widespread witness intimidation leading into the trial and some witnesses have refused to testify, throwing the strength of the case into question.