3 witnesses back out of Uhuru ICC case

According to the prosecution's submission to the Trial Chamber, witnesses 2, 9 and 10 have informed the court that they will not be testifying against Kenyatta/FILE

According to the prosecution’s submission to the Trial Chamber, witnesses 2, 9 and 10 have informed the court that they will not be testifying against Kenyatta/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 5 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has suffered yet another blow after the prosecution confirmed that three key witnesses had refused to testify in the case facing President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta.

According to the prosecution’s submission to the Trial Chamber, witnesses 2, 9 and 10 have informed the court that they will not be testifying against Kenyatta.

“Three of the 12 prosecution witnesses relied up on at confirmation retracted their willingness to testify after the confirmation hearing: Witnesses 2, 9 and 10. Their provision of formal statements to the prosecution prior to confirmation indicated their willingness to testify, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda indicated.

This means four key witnesses out of the 12 who testified against Kenyatta before the charges were confirmed including the well-known witness 4 whose evidence was dropped after he said he had lied to the court have dropped out.

At the start of the case there were about 30 prosecution witnesses in the Kenyatta case.

The prosecution will now rely on evidence of the remaining eight key witnesses and others to hold onto the charges levelled against Kenyatta.

According to Bensouda, the three witnesses gave indications last year that they would not be testifying at the trial stage as earlier thought.

“When the prosecution contacted witness 2 on November 3, 2012 to confirm his availability to testify, he said he was rethinking his decision. The prosecution made several attempts to persuade witness 2 to testify, either as a prosecution or as a court witness, but on November 20, 2012, he informed the prosecution that his decision not to testify was final,” Bensouda explained in reference to witness 2.

Former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura had his charges dropped as the prosecution said the Pre-Trial Chamber relied on evidence given by witness 4 who is no longer on the list of witnesses.

The prosecution said although part of the evidence used to confirm Kenyatta’s charges was from witness 4, evidence from witnesses 11, 12 and 6 was also relied upon by the Pre-Trial Chamber.

The prosecutor explained; “Its findings were based upon the evidence of Witnesses 11, 12 and 6. The Pre-Trial Chamber found that their evidence “established (the 30 December State House meeting) to the requisite threshold” of “substantial grounds”. This finding is not affected in any way by the post-confirmation revelations with respect to witness 4.”

When the prosecutor dropped charges against Muthaura she told the court that witnesses had been killed, intimidated and that the government of Kenya had refused to cooperate.

However critics have urged the prosecution make use of the provisions in the Rome Statute which gives it the power to sanction those who have intimidated witnesses if it has evidence to support its allegations.

The prosecution during the status conference confirmed that some witnesses had dropped out of the two Kenyan cases against Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and former media personality Joshua arap Sang.

The Ruto-Sang case has 41 prosecution witnesses, but five of them have been dropped.

JUDIE KABERIA

JUDIE KABERIA

Judie, a Special Projects Reporter started practicing journalism in 2003. She has worked in Kenya and Germany. Judie has scooped awards in Reproductive Health, Population, Gender and Development. She has participated in international conferences in Germany, Switzerland and Netherlands. Judie has written a booklet, 'Justice and Peace in the Kenyan Eye'. She has a soft spot for human rights, crime, peace and justice stories and she is now pursuing a Master's Degree at the University of Leicester (U.K).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Batiany-Ole-Kenya/739190551 Batiany Ole Kenya

    We had some kenyans who day and night used to sing about how Uhuru and Ruto would go to the hague, infact Raila during the presidential debates was poking fun at how it is impossible to run a country using skype. I am here to tell these followers of the jaluo godesse Raila, that this case is headed no where, infact Uhuru will be sworn in at 12noon in broad daylight, he will rule for 10years, Ruto will take over for another 10years and it will be 2050 before any follower of the CORDOM movement will ever taste leadership in this country.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=703073110 Fredrick Ombako

      May your half-baked brain keep rotting bringing your ethnic bygotry to issues.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Batiany-Ole-Kenya/739190551 Batiany Ole Kenya

        You are an “O”, so your pain is understandable…..

    • Lucy

      WELL SAID MAN !!! Amen and Amen!

    • Sam Humble African

      Even Mubarak & Gaddafi had the same ambitions as you & your JUBILATED fanatics. In the end, one took a helicopter to his island house & is currently facing court charges in a bed-ridden state. The other was knifed by a jubilated citizen- happy to see him alive- as he sped away in a motorcade in a desert (maybe Turkana or Mandera/Garissa) heading to a neighbouring country. Thats Africa for you – it has a remedy for those with a mindset like yours. Good day – usiogope lakini.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Batiany-Ole-Kenya/739190551 Batiany Ole Kenya

        Kuogopa nini??? It is monkeys like you who keep wishing that bad things will happen to Kenya in order to justify your pathetic mindset, you are like the hyena that follows the human being waiting for the hand to fall. Keep waiting, maybe in the year 3013 someone will become bed-ridden. You are so pathetic!

  • Greenmarshmarrows

    Fatou Bensouda, give it up babie

  • Nyar gem

    Wow, witnesses are getting cold feet or what is happening? Who will give justice to those who lost their lives and those languishing as IDPs?

  • http://www.facebook.com/njengarw Robert Njenga

    Statement by the Office of the Prosecutor

    The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), today issued the following statement relating to the situation in the Republic of Kenya:

    “The Office of the Prosecutor deplores the recent stream of sensationalist reports in the Kenyan media, on the level of witness cooperation. Witness protection remains one of our highest priorities. The Office will therefore not be drawn into any public speculation on the status of witnesses. The courage and integrity of witnesses are essential to the Court’s determination of the truth, which is at the heart of justice. It is in the interest of all concerned to allow justice to take its course.”