, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 4 – Journalist Joshua arap Sang’s lawyer Caroline Buisman on Friday played a series of audio clips in which Sang was heard urging listeners to maintain peace and wait for the outcome of the 2007 General Election.
In the clips accepted in as evidence in court, Sang was heard making numerous pleas on different days during his morning show asking people to refrain from skirmishes.
“People at the grassroots are not to blame. Getting angry at one another at the grassroots will not resolve anything so don’t displace your anger onto an unwarranted target. You have been with your neighbours all along even if they voted for a person you did not want. Leave them alone, we all live in Kenya and each one is looking out for their property,” translation of the recording read out by Buisman in court indicated.
Buisman played other recordings followed by the transcripts of Sang calling on listeners to be patient and wait for the announcement of the results by the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK).
The lawyer depicted a narrative that Sang trusted the ECK when he told people to be calm and refrain from violence and wait for the official announcement of the results.
Other transcripts presented to the court had voices of former Ambassador Bethwel Kiplagat and a certain Sumbeiywo among other Kalenjin leaders hosted by Sang in his show to send peace messages during the violence that engulfed Kenya in 2007/2008 after the disputed presidential poll.
The witness who at times said he could not remember some sections of peace messages played in court said he could have missed some of the peace messages when he was not listening to Sang’s show.
“I could not remember the exact words, because it has been a long time. I remember a message of peace,” the witness said.
The 27th witness however stood to his ground that Sang had a way of sneaking hate messages coded in metaphors and parables in his show.
“There were some mixed messages that come out from the same Sang that could do the opposite of what he was saying. He was actually most of the time announcing things of peace but he could put some words that could cause the opposite… most of the time when he was in the studio he was preaching peace,” the witness testified.
The court also heard other audio clips of Deputy President William Ruto calling for peace before the announcement of the results of the 2007 election.
Buisman also played other audio clips of Sang urging youths in different parts of the Rift Valley to stop blocking roads and not to fight.
The witness is among the nine compelled to give evidence after initially telling the ICC that they were no longer willing to testify.
The witness at the start of his evidence-in-chief alleged that he had been approached to recant his evidence.
The current session of the trial against Deputy President Ruto is expected to end next Friday when the court goes on recess.