, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 5 – The second witness testifying against Deputy President William Ruto and his co-accused Joshua arap Sang takes the stand on Monday.
This follows the conclusion of cross examination of the first witness only known as P0536 who was taken to task over her testimony on the events that transpired when the Kiambaa Church was set ablaze at the height of the post election violence, killing 35 people.
The witness was interrogated by Sang’s lawyer Kigen Katwa kicked and Ruto’s Essa Faal.
The witness was also grilled by the Victims Legal Representative Wilfred Nderitu but little is known of the proceedings because they were conducted in closed-doors.
The Trial Chamber V (a) Judges decided to hold her entire account in camera so as to protect her from the public after some social networks revealed her identity.
“I am sure the public will understand because efforts are being made by some people to reveal the identity of the witnesses with obvious intent of discouraging the witness to testify. The public will surely understand that measures need to be taken,” said Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji on September 19 when he ruled in favour of the prosecution to have the session held in camera.
The second prosecution witness takes the stand on Monday morning, but it is not clear if the witness will testify in an open court.
The Judges are also set to determine whether the other witnesses will testify in public.
This is after Ruto and Sang expressed concern over the closed sessions saying their family members and friends wanted to follow the proceedings.
Ruto said that his mother was anxious to follow the proceedings while Sang said that the private sessions were affecting him psychologically.
“Of course Mr Ruto wants to reassure his mother that she has peace that this is a son to be proud of, not a son to be ashamed of,” argued his lead counsel Karim Khan when he sought to convince judges to open up the session to the public.
On his part, Sang’s lawyer said “With all the words I can use I am unable to describe the pain he’s going through in the manner of the closed proceedings that have the effect of suggesting that he has absolutely no rights in terms of having his situation understood by people who matter to him.”
The Judges are also set to make determinations whether or not the court should sit on Saturdays after Ruto and Sang said that they were anxious to hasten the trial.
Another decision that is also pending, is an appeal that was filed by the Court’s Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda against a decision excusing Ruto from continuous presence to allow him attend to his national responsibilities as Kenya’s Deputy President.
The Judges have already cancelled a four days’ break that had been scheduled, so as to recover time lost when Ruto was allowed to travel back home following the Westgate Shopping Mall terror attack.
Ruto and Sang have all denied Crimes Against Humanity charges, also facing President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to stand trial on November 12.
The two Kenyan leaders and the radio journalist are accused of orchestrating the post election violence of 2007-8 in which over 1100 people were killed and nearly half a million others displaced.