Ruto ICC trial adjourns, awaits final witness in July

June 25, 2014 2:52 pm
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and her team have been presenting their case since  September 10, 2013
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and her team have been presenting their case since September 10, 2013

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 25 – The trial against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang adjourned on Tuesday to July, when the prosecution will be ready to present its final witness.

Trial Lawyer Anton Steynberg informed the court that the 21st witness who was supposed to testify in the session that ended on Tuesday was unwell and will only be ready in July.

“The witness is experiencing certain health problems which are complicating his travel to The Hague and he will not be able to travel to the court before the 5th of July. Victims and Witness Unit (VWU) have informed us that they are aiming to have him testify by the 10th of July,” Steynberg explained.

The next session in which the prosecution will conclude its case against Ruto and Sang will end on July 16.

According to the trial lawyer, the prosecution may however present two other witnesses based on the decision of the trial chamber.

Other witnesses could also be allowed to testify if the Appeals Chamber rules in favour of the prosecution which wants eight witnesses who refused to testify compelled to give evidence.

The trial against Ruto and Sang kicked off on September 10, 2013.

At the time the prosecution had indicated that it had 35 witnesses to give evidence to prove criminal responsibility of Ruto and Sang in the 2008 post election violence in Kenya in the greater Rift Valley region.

According to the Document Containing Charges (DCC) released on August 1, 2011, Ruto and Sang allegedly planned attacks in the Rift Valley during the 2007-8 post election violence.

As early as 2006 to January 2008 it is alleged that the two; “planned to expel individuals namely members of the Kikuyu, Kamba, and Kisii (later referred to as Party of National Unity supporters).

Ruto and Sang were at the time members and supporters of ex-Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), a rival of former President Mwai Kibaki’s Party of National Unity.

The prosecution while making its case against Ruto and Sang has alleged that they were members of a network that controlled attacks in specific parts of the Rift Valley using derogatory terms like madoadoa, kimoriok, and kamama to refer to the targeted groups and take what belonged to them.

Sang allegedly used his show at Kass fm to coordinate attacks using coded language known to the perpetrators, whereas Ruto is accused of funding the assailants to carry out attacks around December 30, 2007 to January 2008 in Turbo town, the greater Eldoret area in Kiambaa, Yamumbi, Huruma and Kimumu.

Other areas included Kapsabet Town and Nandi Hills.

Former Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey who was accused alongside Ruto and Sang had his charges dropped during the confirmations stage in 2010.

The trial against President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to begin on October 10 despite the prosecution having told the court that it had no evidence against him.

Former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and ex-Police Commissioner Hussein Ali who were accused alongside Kenyatta in Kenya Case II had their charges dropped leaving Kenyatta as the only accused person who implemented a ‘common plan’ in the Nakuru and Naivasha killings.

The ICC Pre-Trial Chamber allowed Ocampo to investigate Kenya on March 31, 2010 and on March 8, 2011, the ‘Ocampo six’ were summoned to appear over what the Pre Trial Judges led by presiding Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova said there was reasonable grounds to believe that Kenyatta, Muthaura, Ali (Case two) and Ruto, Kosgey and Sang (Case 1) had a case to answer at The Hague hence should appear before the Court on Thursday, 7 April 2011.


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