NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 1 – Two more key witnesses have withdrawn from the case facing Deputy President William Ruto and Joshua Sang barely a week to September 10 when trial begins at The Hague.
In a sworn affidavit through lawyer Christopher Mitei one of the witnesses said he has withdrawn from testifying following what he termed as ‘mental aguish and pressure from his family.’
The witness whose name couldn’t be revealed for security reason was working with an organisation known as Anti Torture Campaign Network as a program officer in North Rift region during the post-election violence period.
“My participation in the process has caused my family immense mental and emotional suffering that has resulted in my father getting sick and harbouring serious thoughts of suicide. A situation that is too much for me to bear,” the witness said in a hand written letter addressed to the ICC Prosecutor.
“My participation has also drawn extreme resistance from my family members and I am greatly anguished at their condition therefore reaching this decision.”
The witness also stated that at the time of accepting to participate, he was under intense mental turmoil culminating from the loss of his mother in 2012, the year he separated with his wife and kids and he was also hospitalized.
“Owing to issues aforesaid, I do not wish to continue participating in the process. I am not in the right state of mind to go on.”
The second witness, who was working at Kass FM during the post election violence period said he decided to pullout of the case for security reasons and pressure from the family too.
He also pointed out that there was no need to go on with the case, since the communities who fought in 2007/2008 had already reconciled.
“My family, those immediate and extended is not for the process and being part of them; I have decided to listen to them and decline to continue,” he said.
The witness said he has also lost confidence in the way the ICC was handling the cases claiming there was interference by third parties which were not in any way related to the case.
“I am shocked to learn through the media that while OTP has lined me as a witness in this case, the OTP (office of the prosecutor) has allowed third parties to participate in the proceedings through open letter and documents authored by individuals who were not victims, witnesses or accused persons in the case….. I am offended to learn that the prosecutor, while listing me as witness has allowed combatants in a political contest in a Kenyan case to participate in this case,” the witness said.
The letter by the first witness dates August 1, 2013 while second one was authored on August 16.
They claim that they have already filed their withdrawal affidavits and other documents with the ICC’s offices.
Ruto and Sang are facing charges of crimes against humanity.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s case is also due to start court on November 12.