, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 9 – Defence lawyer Karim Khan on Tuesday submitted video and newspaper clippings to demonstrate that Deputy President William Ruto did not incite Kalenjins during the memorial of freedom fighter Koitalel arap Samoei as alleged by the 27th prosecution witness at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In one of the video clips played in court, Ruto was heard urging Kalenjins to welcome former President Mwai Kibaki, his wife and other guests attending the ceremony on October 19, 2005.
While speaking in Kalenjin he also called on different communities to stay united and told them that they would not speak much in vernacular as they had to respect the leaders attending the ceremony.
“There is nothing there that is inciting,” Khan posed to the witness.
“He was talking in a manner giving the strong words that were encouraging every community to be one using their terms which is ‘Jesit’ to give them courage,” the witness said.
“You repeatedly said Ruto was inciting the crowd, you didn’t hear anything inciting here, did you,” Khan asked.
The witness further alleged that Ruto used the word ‘busaret’ which means porridge to incite Kalenjins against other communities.
Sticking to his testimony that Ruto incited Kalenjins in the presence of former President Kibaki and other guests the witness further told the court that Ruto did not call for unity and that was why speakers from the banana side (those that were supporting the 2005 referendum) were not allowed to speak at the memorial ceremony.
“It was inciting language that is why even the other group (banana) was not given time to talk,” the witness said.
However, Khan played another video clip where a banana supporter (Stephen Tarus) was allowed to speak at the same ceremony contrary to the witness’ account.
After watching the clip of Tarus speaking the witness changed his previous position that the banana supporters were not allowed to speak.
“I am not refusing he spoke, but he was not allowed to speak,” the 27th witness said.
The witness in his earlier evidence to the court had said that Ruto had earlier used his foot soldiers to ensure that Kibaki and other banana supporters are not allowed to attend the memorial of Koitalel.
Khan exhibited a different video recording in which Ruto was heard castigating people who said that former President Daniel arap Moi’s advice should be ignored.
“Kuna baadhi ya viongozi wazembe ambao wanatuambia ya kwamba Mstaafu Rais (Moi) hawezi kusema kwa sababu yeye amekwisha kustaafu. (There are some lazy leaders who are telling us that the former president is not capable of advising us because he retired),” Ruto was heard saying when he was urging a crowd to stay united and also listen to the advice of former President Daniel arap Moi.