, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 10 – The Office of the ICC Prosecutor wants the trial of Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang adjourned to Tuesday next week since witnesses are yet to arrive in The Hague.
Senior Trial Attorney Anton Steynberg on Tuesday afternoon said the first prosecution witness will arrive at The Hague on Thursday, and will only be ready to take the stand on Tuesday next week.
“The first witness is travelling as we speak… we expect her to arrive in The Hague on Thursday and we expect to begin on Tuesday immediately after the long weekend,” he said.
During his opening statement, Steynberg informed the court that the prosecution would call a total of 22 witnesses and victims to prove the criminal responsibility of Ruto and Sang.
He said the prosecution will call its first expert witness No.536 to shed more light on the Kiambaa church attack.
Earlier, Ruto’s lawyer Karim Khan in his opening remarks termed the prosecution’s work as shoddy when he cited the prosecution’s request for adjournment due to absence of the first witness.
In response to the prosecution, he said the court should not grant it an opportunity to make second opening remarks unless other parties are equally accorded the same.
“That will be a merry go-round, it will never get off. It is procedurally improper and unfair for the prosecution to get to get the second bite of the cherry,” he said.
Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji however said the court will make a decision on the request after Sang’s lawyer Katwa Kigen gives his opening remarks on Wednesday.
He told the court that it was not obvious that the prosecution will have its request granted since Sang’s defence will also give its view on the request.
“The prosecution has not been given the opportunity to do so immediately. The chamber may or may not grant that wish. At the end of Kigen’s submissions we will return to the question whether it is procedurally for the prosecutor to reply to opening statements,” Eboe-Osuji said.
On Tuesday, the prosecution was the first to make opening statements, followed by Victims Legal Representative then Ruto’s defence Counsel Khan.
Sang’s lawyer, Kigen will on Wednesday make his opening statement.