THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Judges at the International Criminal Court have excused Kenya's deputy president from his crimes against humanity trial for a week so he can return home to help deal with the mall hostage crisis.

At a hastily arranged hearing early Monday, Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said William Ruto could leave on a morning flight to Kenya.

Ruto is on trial in The Hague charged with crimes against humanity for allegedly orchestrating violence in the aftermath of Kenya's 2007 presidential election. He has pleaded not guilty.

Eboe-Osuji has expressed the court's "deepest sympathy to the victims and their families and friends and all of Kenya in this most difficult time."

The hostage crisis that began Saturday at Nairobi's upscale Westgate Mall was continuing Monday morning.