, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 17- Three government officials take the stand at The Hague on September 21 when the second round of the Confirmation of Charges hearing kicks off.
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura and Post Master General Hussein Ali, will appear before Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC), for the confirmation of their alleged role in the 2007 post poll chaos.
The hearings will determine whether or not there is enough evidence against them, in a case that will be presided over by Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova with the assistance of Judges Hans-Peter Kaul and Cuno Tarfusser.
Kenyatta and Amb Muthaura are accused of being indirectly responsible for the crimes against humanity that were committed in the wake of 2008 including murder, forced evictions, rape and persecution.
Gen Ali on the other hand is accused of facilitating the commission of these crimes.
“If the charges are confirmed for a suspect, the Pre-Trial Chamber commits the person to trial before a Trial Chamber, which will conduct the subsequent phase of the proceedings- the trial,” read a statement from the ICC.
Kenyatta has also taken a drastic step, in the proceedings, by deciding to take to the witness stand to be questioned for his alleged role. None of the other suspects have made a similar move, whose risk has been criticised by several lawyers.
According to the ICC schedule, the Prosecutor will first provide the evidence he has against Kenyatta. The Deputy Premier will then take the stand to defend himself as a witness before he is questioned by the Prosecutor as well as the defense lawyers representing him, Amb Muthaura and Gen Ali.
The Finance Minister had earlier requested the Court to postpone the hearings for another three months but withdrew the application.
He however declined to make a comment on the hearings when he attended a Party of National Unity meeting in Karen on Friday.
Gen Ali had also written to the ICC requesting for a change of witness which was granted. Both he and Amb Muthaura have lined up two witnesses; Kenyatta only has one witness other than himself. Amb Muthaura is first on the line up followed by Kenyatta before Gen Ali makes his submissions.
When Eldoret North MP William Ruto, Tinderet legislator Henry Kosgey and Radio personality Joshua arap Sang appeared before the Court, during the Confirmation of Charges hearing in the first case, they only gave opening statements.
Ruto and Sang each presented two witnesses while their co-accused Kosgey, declined to present any witnesses, leaving his defense in the hands of his lawyer.
The Confirmation of Charges hearing against the three, who are also accused of perpetrating crimes against humanity, has already been concluded.
Ruto, Kosgey and Sang all denied the accusations when they appeared before the ICC. The three, through their lawyers, instead accused the Prosecution of using ‘career witnesses’ and ‘self confessed criminals’.
“The only thing you can credit Ocampo (ICC Prosecutor) with is creativity and not investigations,” said Kioko Kilukumu while defending Ruto.
The Prosecution, on its part, accused the defense of inconsistencies in the submission of evidence.
Moreover, the Pre-Trail Chamber gave the Defense up to October 24 to give written submissions of their observations of the proceedings; the Prosecution has up until October 30.
All the six suspects will know their fate by the end of the year.