Key ruling in Ruto ICC case on recanted evidence due Friday

February 8, 2016 3:38 pm
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Ruto and Sang challenged the admission of prior recorded testimony in August 2015, as sought by International Criminal Court Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda/FILE
Ruto and Sang challenged the admission of prior recorded testimony in August 2015, as sought by International Criminal Court Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – The ICC Appeals Chamber will on Friday deliver a landmark ruling on the use of recanted evidence in the case against Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang.

Ruto and Sang challenged the admission of prior recorded testimony in August 2015, as sought by International Criminal Court Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda.

“Judgement in the above appeals will be delivered in open court on Friday, 12 February 2016 at 16h30,” a notification by Presiding Judge Piotr Hofmanski indicates.

Other judges sitting in the court are Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, Christine Van den Wyngaert, Howard Morrison and Péter Kovács.

Trial Chamber V (a) which is hearing the case against Ruto and Sang allowed Bensouda to use primary testimony of five witnesses who had recanted their evidence under Rule 68 which was adopted at the 12th Assembly of States Parties in 2013.

The decision elicited legal and political dissatisfaction with the court being accused of violating an agreement made during the ASP.

Kenya, Uganda and Namibia which were also opposed to application of Rule 68 requested to be allowed to submit their views but were denied the chance by the Trial Chamber.

The Africa Union (AU) was however allowed to submit views which incorporated the position held by the three countries.

READ: AU allowed to join Ruto Hague case on witnesses

Both AU and the defence teams argue that Rule 68 was adopted on condition that it would not be applied retrospectively.

The prosecution and the victims’ legal representative Wilfred Nderitu on the other hand want the Appeals Chamber to uphold the Trial Chamber’s decision.

Bensouda in her efforts to secure evidence of the five witnesses explained to the judges that her witnesses were interfered with and forced to recant their evidence.

So far, the ICC has issued warrant of arrests against three Kenyans accused of interfering with prosecution witnesses.

READ: Lawyer among 2 arrested over ICC witness tampering

Should the chamber dismiss application of Rule 68 which allows admission of prior recorded statements, the prosecution has expressed concerns that it will suffer a big blow in its efforts to tighten charges against Ruto and Sang.

READ: Evidence to incriminate Ruto, Sang inadequate – Bensouda

Ruto and Sang were last month in The Hague last month for hearing of oral submissions of their motions of no-case-to-answer which seek to terminate the case.

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