Prosecution, defence lock horns over ‘absent’ ICC witness

March 25, 2015 2:15 pm
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The prosecution has insisted that P0727 is a key witness who has crucial evidence in the case/FILE
The prosecution has insisted that P0727 is a key witness who has crucial evidence in the case/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 25 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecution and defence teams of Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang on Wednesday locked horns over continued failure by the last witness to testify.

Whereas the prosecution wanted the judges to allow it several weeks to locate the whereabouts of the 30th witness, the defence teams argued that it should only be allowed a few more days.

The prosecution has insisted that P0727 is a key witness who has crucial evidence in the case.

He was first expected to testify on Monday when the trial resumed for the last session of the prosecution’s case.

READ: Trial against Ruto, Sang resumes at the ICC

On February 22, Trial V (a) judges summoned the witness to appear on Monday after it postponed the trial to accommodate him.

The judges are scheduled to hold a status conference on Thursday to resolve the contention between the defence and the prosecution.

The current trial session adjourned for third day on Wednesday over the continued absence of the witness.

On Tuesday, the session also ended prematurely after hopes of him showing up waned prompting the judges to call a status conference on Wednesday. The session was conducted in private session.

READ: Ruto, Sang ICC case fate due after witness hitch

It will be for the judges to determine the next step of the case against Ruto and Sang once they issue a verdict on the contentious witness.

The trial will enter the second phase which will be for the defence to file a motion of-no-case-to-answer.

Depending on the decision of the judges for every of the three charges the motion can be rejected or accepted entirely or partially.

Partial or entire rejection of the motion will mean that the defence will make their own case where they will invite witnesses and give evidence to prove the innocence of their clients.

But if the judges say Ruto and Sang have no case to answer, it will mark the end of the case meaning there will be no conviction.

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