, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 10 – The Defence team of Deputy President William Ruto has slammed his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) as injudicious, citing plans to adjourn, barely a day after it started for ‘want of witnesses’ as an example.
Lawyer Karim Khan argued on Tuesday that the case was characterised by falsehoods as characterised by the withdrawal of several witnesses, further revealing that motions to adjourn the case on Wednesday until next Tuesday, were already in motion.
He added that the court’s former Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo conducted ‘pathetic’ and ‘lazy’ investigations into the 2007-8 post election violence and heavily relied on third party witness accounts.
Khan further claimed that the court’s current Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda inherited the flawed case and was ‘all too eager to latch on to any version, any account and any story’ to ensure that the case remained afloat.
“As this case unravels, witnesses are not here, witnesses have withdrawn. The case will adjourn tomorrow until Tuesday for want of Prosecution witnesses,” he argued.
“We say that there is a rotten under belly of this case that the Prosecutor has swallowed hook, line and sinker, indifferent to the truth.”
Khan also cautioned Prosecution witnesses against providing false testimonies saying they should be detained by the court.
Ruto has been accused of transporting 3,000 guns and hand grenades that were allegedly used in the violence.
But in a television interview, which was conducted after he was informed that he was among the original Ocampo six and which was played in court on Tuesday, Ruto denied the charges saying it was not possible for an opposition leader (which he was at the time) to ferry such an amount of weapons without being detected.
Former Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura, former Tinderet Member of Parliament and former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali had also been implicated in the two Kenyan cases but their charges were dropped for lack of merit.
“These are things that can only be possible in a movie. It cannot be in reality. As an opposition Member of Parliament in 2007, it would take a miracle. I would have to have powers of an angel to be able to assemble 3,000 guns and have an army,” said Ruto in the clip.
Khan also maintained that at the end of the trials, Ruto would go home a free man but would have suffered a gross injustice.
He added that Bensouda was also unable to state categorically, at a press conference, that she had a strong case against Ruto, his co-accused Joshua arap Sang and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“The Registrar also spoke in the press conference and he said that we will know at the end of the trial who is responsible for those crimes but the only thing we will know at the end of these trials is who was not responsible,” argued Khan.
He further maintained that Ruto had Kikuyu relatives who he supported and did not have any bad blood with the community.