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ICC readies for September 1 case

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has given the Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo and the defence teams of William Ruto, Joshua arap Sang and Henry Kosgey until Monday to spell out their time-schedules to enable the court plan the confirmation of charges hearings.

Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova wants them to indicate the time they will require to give their evidence to the court.

“In this regard and with a view to properly organising the conduct of the confirmation of charges hearing, the single judge considers it appropriate to receive the observations of the Prosecutor and the defence teams of the suspects prior to establishing the detailed final schedule of the hearing,” a statement on the ICC website read.

Judge Trendafilova who will preside over the case has asked the defence to also specify how much time they will require to question witnesses.

She has further asked them to say if they intend to question admissibility, jurisdiction or the conduct of the court and how much time they will require for that.

“The parties may raise questions or raise objections concerning an issue related to the proper conduct of the proceedings prior to the confirmation hearing. The single judge deems it necessary to receive, for the purposes of establishing the schedule for the hearing, information as to whether the parties intend to make any such submission, and if so, how much time they anticipate will be necessary to present such issues,” the statement indicated.

She says it will be critical for the parties to stick to the calendar bearing in mind that the second case involving the Head of the Civil Service Francis Muthaura, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Postmaster General Hussein Ali will start on September 21.

Judge Trendafilova has further requested the legal representative of the 327 victims to likewise inform the court how much time will be needed during the confirmation of charges hearing for the purposes of establishing the schedule.

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She has similarly asked the Prosecutor to estimate the time he will use in presenting his evidence and also in questioning witnesses that will be called to testify.

Judge Trendafilova has also reminded Mr Ocampo that he has to support every single charge with adequate evidence that the suspects committed the alleged offences. “The Prosecutor shall support each charge with sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed the crime charged.”

To avoid repetition, the judge has advised the prosecutor to adhere to the Draft Model Chart procedure which was appended in April this year.

The chart will require him to procedurally spell out the context of crimes against humanity, how the alleged crimes are related and then link each of the suspects to individual responsibility of the crimes.

“The single judge expects the Prosecutor to organise his arguments and presentation of evidence, starting with the contextual element of the crimes against humanity, the specific constituent elements of the crimes charged and thereafter the individual criminal responsibility of each suspect, avoiding any repetitive arguments,” she asserts.

Judge Trendafilova has urged the parties to strictly stick to what is necessary in the case to avoid wasting time.

“The single judge recalls the limited purpose of the hearing and reminds all parties and participants to confine themselves to what is strictly necessary in order that the Chamber, which has carefully read all filings, discharge its functions pursuant to article 61(7) of the (Rome) Statute,” the statement read.

She has specified that the proceedings of the first case should end by September 12 to allow the court time to prepare for the second case.

According to the ICC procedures, confirmation of charges hearings can take up to 20 days but can also end before that time.

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