, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 4 – Deputy President William Ruto wants all witnesses who give false accounts during his upcoming trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrested.
Ruto’s lawyers led by Lead Counsel Karim Khan argued that it may be necessary to prosecute such witness so as to protect the integrity of the proceedings.
He claimed that there was a deliberate attempt by Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) witnesses to subvert justice by peddling lies.
Several witnesses have already dropped out of the ICC cases against three Kenyans with some the witnesses admitting to lying in their testimonies.
“In a case where the defence is alleging that a clear attempt has been made by key OTP witnesses to fabricate evidence, it may be necessary that such witnesses are dealt with sequentially to avoid or reduce the risk of further alleged concoction and contamination of their accounts,” read the fresh application signed by Khan.
Lawyers David Hooper, Kioko Kilukumi and Shyamala Alagendra are also listed as Ruto’s lawyers.
Ruto’s lawyers at the same time opposed the imposition of time limits within which witnesses should be cross-examined once the trials kicked off, noting that it would undermine his defence.
“Whilst the veracity of the defence’s contentions in this regard will obviously be a matter to be adjudicated by the chamber, such determinations require proper cross-examination upon which such a decision can safely be made,” argued the lawyers.
“In essence, the defence position is that artificial time constraints may limit the defence in a manner than undermines this critical task.”
The defence team also asked that the prosecution to provide an order of the witnesses it intended to call during trial, within a month, in addition to providing an itemised list of all the materials it planned to use during the trial.
Khan also said that the defence would spend about three hours in its opening statement.
“Again, the defence appreciates that a degree of flexibility needs to be built into the procedure and proposes that the OTP be permitted to use additional material already disclosed to the defence with any witness upon a showing of good cause and provided such additions are made no later than seven days prior to the witness’ testimony,” requested the defence.