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Victims want identity kept secret at ICC

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – Most of the 2008 post-election victims do not want their identities disclosed by the International Criminal Court to the defence teams of William Ruto, Henry Kosgey and Joshua arap Sang, ahead of the September 1 confirmation of charges hearing.

Even though the victims’ legal representative Sureta Chana had not personally met the 327 victims, there were indications from their representatives that they did not want their identities disclosed, according to a statement on the ICC website,

She had expected to meet at least 150 of the victims on Tuesday.

“Other means of contacting victims have not been identified.  Many of them do not have telephones and live in remote areas.  Arrangements have now been made for approximately 150 victims to travel to Nakuru. They are due to travel for eight hours and arrive in Nakuru on Tuesday 23 August, 2011,” the statement read.

She added: “In present circumstances it will not be possible by the deadline of 22 August 2011, to consult with all the 327 victims regarding their preference on the disclosure of their identity to the defence,” she said in a statement.

Ms Chana was expected to have finalised her work two days ago but she has informed the court she will complete meetings with the victims by October 24.

She stated that she would meet all the victims to explain to them the ‘terms of the single judge’s order’ to enable them make informed choices in regard to disclosure of their identity to the defence team.

However she says the victims have already been informed of the distinction between disclosing their identity to the defence and to the public.

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Meanwhile the ICC Registrar Silvana Arbia has said the Registry has allocated two offices for the defence teams at The Hague.

She said the International Criminal Court ICT section on Tuesday started equipping the offices in preparation for the confirmation of charges hearings.

The Registrar dismissed claims by Mr Ruto and Mr Sang that they had not been provided with offices to prepare for their defence saying it is not a right but subject to availability.

She has further differed with them that the Internet in Kenya has been slow saying their reasons to have the confirmation hearings extended by six weeks were efforts to delay the court.

Mr Ruto’s and  Mr Sang’s defence teams have told the court that due to poor Internet connection in Kenya, they were unable to access secure ICC email addresses and therefore were unable to scan and send confidential materials in a secure format.

Ms Arbia says the defence teams have also been provided with the training they require in readiness for the confirmation of charges hearings, “This includes, inter alia, remote access to their case-file and networks through Citrix and functioning ICC assigned email addresses.”

They had also alleged that they were unable to use the E-Court system and Ms Arbia claims they were invited for the training in July this year but only one of the lawyers from the defence teams attended.

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