, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – Suspended Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey took a departure from the approach taken by his fellow suspects, when he chose to adduce his own evidence instead of presenting witnesses before the Pre-Trial Chamber, in the ongoing confirmation of charges hearings at The Hague.
His lawyer George Oraro took several hours to present Mr Kosgey’s defence in which he sought to absolve the Tinderet MP from any blame in the 2008 post-election violence.
Mr Kosgey’s lawyer accused International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo of relying heavily on only one witness to implicate him in the case.
“The prosecution disclosed heavily redacted and uncorroborated violence of a single prosecution witness known as witness number six. We shall show not only is the evidence of witness six wholly unreliable, but the prosecution too found material parts of his evidence wanting in many respects,” Mr Oraro told the court.
In his opening statements, the Prosecutor accused Mr Kosgey of heading a network that perpetrated the violence alongside Eldoret North MP William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang.
But in his defence, Mr Oraro said: “The prosecution has singularly failed to adduce material evidence to connect Mr Kosgey to all the planning stages of such organisation if at all. There are no substantial grounds to believe the claims by the prosecution that there was a network and that Mr Kosgey was either the deputy or the treasurer as stated.”
In Monday’s hearings, the court went into five in-camera sessions at the request of Mr Oraro.
As part of his defence during public hearings, Mr Oraro rebutted claims by the prosecution that Mr Kosgey was part of the so-called network to eject Kikuyus, Kambas and Kisiis from the Rift Valley to allow uniform voting in support of ODM.
“Mr Kosgey attended none of the alleged meetings where the violence is said to have been planned. The prosecution has failed to create any nexus between Mr Kosgey and the network.”
He added: “Mr Kosgey does not feature in documents provided by the prosecution in regard to alleged meetings where the violence is said to have been planned.”
He said the September 2, 2007 meeting at Sirikwa Hotel, in Eldoret was not attended by Mr Kosgey.
“There are four striking and unusual features of the claims against Mr Kosgey, which make charges against him distinctly different from the rest. One, they hinge entirely on one witness. Which evidence is not supported in any meaningful way by any other prosecution witness. There are inconsistencies between evidence of Witness No. six and the prosecution theory.”
“Further, meetings are said to have taken place on December 6 and December 13, 2007. No allegation is made that Mr Kosgey attended any of these meetings.”
He wondered how Mr Kosgey could become a mastermind of a plan which had been operating since 2006 with a hierarchical order, carrying out meetings and collecting funds.
“Mr Kosgey, 64, has been Tinderet MP from 1979. His is considered a safe seat and the level of his support that even if those of the rival party voted against him he would still have succeeded.”
He said Mr Kosgey could not tell if the 2008 violence was spontaneous or planned.
“Mr Kosgey’s reaction to the premature announcement of presidential election result was mature and measured. He was one of the more reasoned participants at the altercation.”
Mr Oraro further pointed out that there was no request, either by the prosecutor or the Kenya Police, for any statement from Mr Kosgey.
“However, when Mr Ocampo said he had applied for summons, Mr Kosgey wrote to express his willingness to cooperate. Mr Kosgey’s statement should be considered in the context of a person who has always been willing to help the case.”